So you know that vast ocean sitting right next to us? Yeah, the Pacific. It won’t solve our drought problems, unfortunately, but thanks to chef Bernard Ibarra of Terranea Resort, it can satisfy our cravings for sea salt.
Ibarra has unveiled an onsite sea salt conservatory to harvest salt straight from Terranea Cove. The conservatory was inspired by his childhood memories in French Basque Country, where his mother brought buckets of seawater home from the shore and let natural evaporation produce salt for the family’s use.
Terranea’s sea salt conservatory is a more-sophisticated version of those buckets. Three salt “ponds” are housed in a greenhouse-like structure that allows the sun and the wind to penetrate. After the seawater evaporates, Ibarra flavors the salt crystals by cold smoking them with apricot wood, saturating them in Meyer lemon zest or infusing them with herbs grown with organic practices on the property.
The salt is being used throughout the resort’s eight restaurants. At Mar’sel, you might find the smoked sea salt sprinkled over roasted Jidori chicken with apricot preserve, zucchini and wild saffron rice ($30) or the Meyer lemon sea salt dusted over grilled asparagus ($16).
It’s seriously delicious stuff—and packed with minerals, too. The salts contain less sodium chloride and more calcium, potassium and magnesium than standard table salt. Want to taste for yourself? Purchase some in the resort’s casual café and gift shop, Sea Beans ($6 each).