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The Dish: Malibu Seaside Chef makes personalized dining a breeze

Grilled meats and veggies, prepared and artfully plated by Malibu Seaside Chef owner Gina Clarke, are displayed. Photos by Barbara Burke/22nd Century Media
Malibu Seaside Chef owner Gina Clarke holds a platter of fresh, grilled veggies.
A feast of fresh fruit and vegetables prepared by Malibu Seaside Chef fill the table.
Flames lick meat prepared by Malibu resident Gina Clarke.
Barbara Burke, Freelance Reporter
11:47 am PDT August 17, 2017

Sometimes it’s nice to eat in or entertain a house full of guests while avoiding the task of preparing the food and cleaning up after cooking.

Malibuite Gina Clarke, an internationally renowned model and chef, has just the solution.

Clarke owns Malibu Seaside Chef and brings one-of-a-kind epicurean experiences to people’s homes.

When Malibu Surfside News visited, Clarke was preparing a seaside barbecue at a Malibu home. As the waves lapped against the beach, the smell of grilled salmon, chicken and beef blended with grilled peppers, squash and onions. A lovely array of fresh fruits graced the table alongside a nutrient-dense Shirazi salad made with tomatoes and cucumbers.

“The salad is made with lemon balm and Rayhan, a Persian basil,” Clarke said.

The medley of tastes excited the palate. 

“This main dish is called grilled kabob koobideh,” Clarke explained. “I marinated the meat in yogurt, garlic, onions and turmeric. I love Persian cooking like this, as well as being intrigued by Indian and Thai cooking.” 

Clarke attended the French Epicurean School in Los Angeles.

“I have attended specialty courses in Florence with Giuliano Bugialli, and I worked under chef Jennifer Naylor at Granita in Malibu,” Clarke said. “I have traveled a lot internationally modeling, and everywhere I went I took cooking classes. I have enjoyed learning how to cook in the Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok and I took every cooking class that was available when I traveled in Thailand.” 

Clarke enjoys creative cooking and the fine art of entertaining. 

“Essentially, I have merged my artistic endeavors from my modeling into cooking,” Clarke said. “It’s another way I can show my creativity. 

“It’s best to view one’s table as a work of art.”

Clarke cooks for luminaries, having curated cuisine experiences for the likes of U2, Seal, and corporate giants such as Red Bull and Ted Baker, as well as serving as a chef on upscale fishing expeditions in Alaska and the state of Washington. She often hosts parties and gives attendees cooking classes.

She is the consummate hostess. 

“Everything she does in the cooking and the presentation is perfect,” guest Frank Damavandi said. “Her plate arrangements and her color selections add to the eating experience.”

Clarke has a big personality, and she creates big, expressive menus. 

“I like to braise meats, such as lamb shanks. For the fishermen, I made a huge rock salt prime rib and made crab cakes when they brought in the crab from the crates they had laid to catch them,” Clarke said. “I also love to make soups. The mirepoix is the base for all proper soups and the vegetables must be sautéed to the point of being translucent. 

“One special dish I make is lobster bisque, which is drenched in tarragon and butter for four hours, and served as a puff pastry in little cups of phyllo dough. It can be served on a bed of creamy polenta and with various types of mushrooms, including morels, shiitake, and butter mushrooms.”

Ossobuco — made with veal shanks that are browned and simmered with tomatoes and vegetables — is another one of Clarke’s specialties. 

Because having the freshest of ingredients is pivotal, Clarke often finds herself in Persian markets, farmers markets and specialty food shops.  All the while, she is cognizant that the best deal and best selection for particular items might be found at a big store such as Costco or Ralphs.  

It is often equally important to know whom to invite and what to cook for each guest. Therefore, Malibu Surfside News asked Clarke to play that old cuisine game which queries: “If you had a dinner party, which famous people would you invite and what would you cook for them?” 

Mother Theresa was first on the list and she would get anything but lentils because, Clarke reasoned, she probably had eaten enough of those in her day.

The next fictional guest was Elvis, who would no doubt appreciate having the best ribs he ever ingested.

Sean Connery was next on the dance list. He would be graced with miso-glazed Chilean sea bass, marinated in sake, brown sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil. 

Bob Marley would have the best vegetarian meal Clarke could fathom, and Marilyn Monroe would require a spicy dish to match her personality, and Martin Luther King would have the best meal of his life. 

They all would share another Clarke favorite: a salad made from grilled vegetables including zucchini, squash, scallions, avocados, tomatoes, some Feta cheese, sunflowers, caramelized pecans and pumpkin seeds served with microgreens and botanical flowers.

Malibu Seaside Chef. It all starts with personalized cuisine, attention to detail, the best of ingredients, and Clarke’s artistic twist on making food imaginative and innovative. 

Blend in the best of company. Add a dash of ambiance as you open the windows and hear the waves. Blend with mood-setting music. 

It’s the recipe for a perfect evening.  

Malibu Seaside Chef

Email: gina@malibuseasidechef.com

Phone: (310) 701-4841