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Community Table with Chef Brian Bornemann of Crudo e Nudo

April 5 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

$160.00 – $175.00
Brian Bornemann cooking at Community Table

Join us for an edible conversation between a farm, a chef, and the community.

We are delighted to welcome Community Table back for the 2024 Spring Series. This beloved event brings a renowned chef to our farm to design an ecological meal around our four seasonal rotations (market garden, milpa, fruit forest, cover crops). By bringing these culinary artists back to the source, we give them an opportunity to connect with new ingredients, find fresh inspiration in our bioregion’s historic foodways, and discover the rewards of relationship with the land.


A native Angeleno, Bornemann’s love of cooking began at a young age venturing to local farmers markets with family, though it was while studying in Italy during his UCLA years that he embarked on his professional culinary career. At Osteria del Gatto in Siena, Bornemann learned the foundations of Tuscan cooking, where all menu items are constructed from whole, raw ingredients over which Chef Marco supervised every aspect. From hunting wild boar to pressing olive oil, cooking was an integrated, full spectrum endeavor. Upon graduating, Bornemann returned to Italy, this time to Castellanza, focusing mainly on the technique of pasta fatta a mano and Lombardian cooking, while also attending sommelier courses.

Once back in the United States, Bornemann assumed a post at Potager in Denver, CO under Chef/Owner Teri Ripeto, who further instilled him with a devotion to regenerative farming practices. Teri’s stake in the Farm-to-Table movement, coupled with her network of purveyors, provided Bornemann the opportunity to work directly with some of the best farmers in the country. It was during this time that he developed his passion for seafood, tasked with creating daily fish specials and menus inspired by classic Californian cuisine.

Bornemann eventually returned to Los Angeles where he would then work with acclaimed Chef Casey Lane for a collective five years. At The Tasting Kitchen in LA’s Venice neighborhood, he honed his pasta and butchery skills, driving the restaurant to the highest sales in its history. Thereafter, Bornemann was sent to NYC to revive sister restaurant, Casa Apicii in Greenwich Village, before heading back to LA to debut the critically acclaimed Viale dei Romani in the La Peer Hotel –– a fine-dining, seafood-driven Italian restaurant. Viale earned a Forbes Four Star rating and was deemed “One of The Biggest Restaurant Openings of 2018” by Food & Wine Magazine. Following his tenure within the Casey Lane portfolio, Bornemann went on to work with Employees Only at their West Hollywood location before landing the role of Executive Chef at the storied culinary institution of Michael’s Santa Monica, where he cooked at The James Beard House in New York, NY and guest judged for Top Chef Los Angeles, Season 17. 

It wasn’t until the onset of the global pandemic in mid-2020 that Bornemann sought to realize his own proprietary concept to uplift local fishermen and farmers, which gave birth to Crudo e Nudo –– an Italian-inflected raw bar pop-up, which activated across Los Angeles from Venice to Echo Park. Before the second wave of lockdowns, Bornemann and his partner, interdisciplinary artist Leena Culhane, were able to transition Crudo e Nudo into its first brick-and-mortar in Santa Monica along the lively Main Street, which was met with critical acclaim from the likes of Eater, The Infatuation, Los Angeles Magazine and The Los Angeles Times, among others. 

Most recently, the duo launched their sophomore concept Isla in March of 2023, showcasing sustainable fish, pastured birds and seasonal produce with a wood-fired cure. Isla is in his dream location at 2424 Main st, four blocks from Crudo e Nudo with both locations steps from the ocean that feels like home.

Fresh. Bright, beautiful wine.
Made by women.

We’re excited to feature Lorenza Wines paired alongside this dinner. Cofounders (and a mother daughter duo!) Melinda and Michèle are continually inspired by food and what else they want to put on their table. All of Lorenza wines are meant to be bright, fresh compliments to everyday celebrations – perfect for our night under the stars.

Lorenza logo


Community Table dinners are fixed course, family-style meals. As such, we cannot accommodate every dietary restriction. Please email us with any dietary needs.  We will try to accommodate for vegetarian/vegan needs, gluten intolerance, and seafood/shellfish allergies but let us know if there are any specific dietary restrictions for any of your guests.  We will do our best to accommodate anything beyond the 3 listed. If there are any life threatening allergies we recommend emailing before purchasing tickets.

Community Table Dinners begin at 6pm, when we’ll start with drinks and a farm tour. We appreciate timeliness as the dinner is coursed intentionally with just one seating. Dinners typically end around 10pm.

We can offer refunds up to one week before the dinner.  In the case that you need to cancel last minute, we would be happy to work with you to pass along your tickets to friends or family members.

If you are an active member of The Ecology Center, thank you so much for your support! As a token of our appreciation, we are pleased to offer you exclusive ticket pricing. If you are not yet a member but wish to take advantage of the discount, please visit our SUPPORT page to become a member today. If you’re unsure of your membership status, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected], and we’ll be happy to assist.


April 5
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
$160.00 – $175.00
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The Ecology Center


The Ecology Center
32701 Alipaz Street
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA 92675 United States
(949) 443 4223


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