Being a woman of many talents, tell us about your career path and why?
Helene: I started Malibu Farm a few years ago, doing cooking classes and farm dinners out of my home. What started as a six-month popup restaurant became a permanent mainstay of Malibu cuisine from the then-empty pier, which stretches almost 800 feet out into the ocean. Many business's tried to take over the pier but couldn’t keep the momentum through the seasons. It was a labor of love to say the least in bringing the pier back to life.
With the Malibu Farm Cafe opening first and Malibu Farm soon after, what inspires the menu?
Helene: Our food is super simply prepared and ultimately comes from sustainable farming. There are no secret ingredients and simply comes from the farm to the table. I keep it as fresh and local as possible. Most of my produce still comes from Malibu! Once I opened the cafe I hoped to continue using local small farmers and supplies from my own back yard. The first few months we used oranges and lemons exclusively from my own trees, and the eggs were from my chickens.
In sourcing local ingredients, do you feel a sense of community along with the Malibu lifestyle?
Helene: I feel that is why we are still in business. Malibu is a strong community and supports one another. I don't know of anywhere else like it. From Larry Thorne we buy strawberries, oranges, kale, chard, basil, tomatoes and whatever else he has available. From Mike Zacha at Malibu Organic Lemons, we get lemons and oranges year round. All of our potatoes and carrots are from Weiser farms. Tomatoes in addition from Larry Thorne. This is our community and these are all people I call friends!
With the restaurant keeping you busy, what is a day off for you like?
Helene: There aren’t many days off, but I do try to balance work with family and spending time with my son and husband who both are my strongest support in this business. The restaurant really is just an extended version of what life is like for me at home. We have a farm with our animals so when we aren’t spending time on the farm we are at the beach surfing or simply enjoying the sun.