We've partnered with California Avocados to share recipes that highlight the California approach to cooking fresh and local. For executive chef Richard Rea of The Butcher's Daughter, the plant-based restaurant and juice bar with an outpost in Venice, that means using seasonal ingredients that make you feel good. The following is an interview with Rea, as told to Food52.
When Heather Tierney, the founder of Butcher's Daughter, came up with the concept, she had this California mindset brewing—a very Bohemian, easy-going, community-focused approach to wellness. The Venice location of Butcher's Daughter in LA totally encapsulates that: There's an energy here that really just brings people together. We’re a 100-seat restaurant and it’s always buzzing. We also have a lot of vegans and vegetarians on our staff, so they’re all jazzed about the food we're making, which translates to the customer. It’s a happy-go-lucky vibe that just makes you smile, makes you want to eat healthy, makes you want run down to the beach, take a swim and then come back. It sounds pretentious, but it’s weirdly true.
We source as local as possible, we’re constantly going to the farmer’s market, and everything’s brought to us from within a 150-mile radius. All of the amazing produce that's available in California allows us to really put creative thought behind expanding the menu. We're constantly doing specials and changing up the dishes depending on what's fresh and in season. Since we started doing brunch, one of our favorites is the Avocado Benedict—you can't go wrong with a Benedict, and "avocado" just rings well in everybody’s ear; people love that word.
We start with our house-made English muffin bread and a smashed fresh avocado mixed with spices and cilantro. And then of course we add a poached egg and some hashed browns to get that whole brunchy vibe. Honestly, I see people try to polish it away, but the dish is very filling, even though it doesn’t have any meat in it. We top that all off with a beautiful, red-amber colored micro green. It’s there for aesthetics, but it adds a nice little crunch too. The whole thing really hits the mark, flavor-wise.
To bring you fresh, feel-good summer recipes, we've partnered with the California Avocado Commission in celebration of this versatile and oh-so delicious green fruit (yes, it's a fruit!). California Avocados spend over a year growing in the state's ideal climate (plenty of sunshine and cool ocean breezes). You'll know a California Avocado is ready to eat (or cook with!) when it yields to gentle pressure in the palm of your hand. Just make sure not to poke it with your fingertips—nobody wants a bruised avocado on their plate!