* The annual Cook’s Tour takes visitors on a trip through fabulous Malibu homes and gives them a taste of gourmet food.
* By Laura Tate/Editor
* Fabulous Malibu homes and delectable fare from local chefs will open to the public for the annual Malibu Methodist Nursery School Cook’s Tour on May 7. The event benefits the church’s nursery school and introduces visitors to some of the homes that make Malibu a legendary paradise by the sea.
* This year, one of the homes will feature the cuisine of its one of its owners, Michelle Jackson. The Tuscan-style Jackson home has sweeping views of the Pacific and a built-in aquarium in the master shower-a favorite feature of local contractor/builder Andy Jackson, who built this family home.
* Michelle Jackson is a wardrobe stylist and mother of the couple’s three children, yet she still finds time to pursue culinary interests. Her father, Bob Yuro, owned the famous Alice’s Restaurant on Malibu Pier. In her spare time, Jackson takes culinary cooking classes and has catered several events for local schools.
* Ice cream lovers will delight in the Lodmer home; in addition to a cook’s dream kitchen (which has all new amenities in keeping to kosher guidelines), the home features what is described as a “rumpus room” complete with a soda fountain and memorabilia such as a jukebox. (Ben & Jerry’s ice cream will be served at this home, as well as coffee from Coffee Bean and Tea, Malibu.) Designed by Jodee Parker, who has worked on such projects as the Nixon Library, the Tierra Rejada golf course clubhouse, the YMCA headquarters and many homes from Mexico to Malibu, the Lodmer home has sweeping lawns, breathtaking views and expansive windows. The home is filled with family history-Judaica and art from travels to Israel are on display throughout.
* Chef Victoria Vanransom, who created the menu for the Good Earth Restaurant, is the featured cook at the Lodmer home, where she will serve a kosher dessert.
* Also featured on the tour is the Thomsen house, a contemporary home with a patio garden and pool that retreat into a Zen garden. The cuisine of Tom Averna of the former Gray Whale restaurant in Malibu, and has opened The Park Place Restaurant in Oak Park, Calif., will be served at the Thomsen house.
* Although no information was available at press time on the fourth home of the tour, John Bard, executive chef for the Steve Breur Conference Center in Malibu, is scheduled to serve his fare at the tour.
* A silent auction featuring gift baskets and the art of Aldo Luongo will take place during the tour. Born in Italy and raised in Argentina, Luongo played professional soccer for the New York Cosmos after graduating from the Academy of Fine Art in Buenos Aires. The artist returned to painting after injuries and a stint as a jewelry designer. His work, labeled as Post-Impressionist by the New York Times, has been displayed at The Smithsonian, The John F. Kennedy Museum, and The Museum of Science and Industry among others.
* More information and tickets for the tour can be obtained by calling 310.457.5144. Tickets are $55 and are sold by advanced reservation only.