Golden Beauty: Modern Design & Exquisite Details Create a Fine Dining Experience

Fusing modern and rustic aesthetics with glamour, Eddie Zaratsian teams up with Contemporary Catering for a fresh take on vineyard event design at Malibu’s Cielo Farms
Written by
Lara M. Burnap


Winter 2018

Los Angeles–based design guru Eddie Zaratsian and Contemporary Catering’s executive chef and owner Nathaniel Neubauer and Director of Sales Rob Pausmith envisioned a luxe setting marrying modern design with an exceptional dining experience. Cielo Farms, perched atop the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu and boasting sweeping views of 30 acres of vineyards and olive orchards, was the perfect place to create an elevated vineyard event design. Zaratsian chose clean, minimal details, such as sleek white tables and mid-century modern chairs from Taylor Creative to contrast with Cielo’s rustic architectural attributes, which include a Tuscan stone farmhouse and natural wood elements. Inspired by Malibu’s famous sunsets, Zaratsian opted for vibrant sunset-hued florals blended with golden pops of glam.

Sunset shaded flowers by Tic-Tock Couture

The Ark’s Aurora Dusk chargers are paired with the gold-rimmed Eclipse dinner plate; Maude Press’ contemporary menu booklets are cinched with a rustic leather band turned place card, designed by Calligraphy Katrina; Luxe Linen’s textured napkin, with a hint of sheen, is a perfect addition to the table setting

Taylor Creative’s linen sofas and ottomans with a single-slab walnut coffee table, bronze side tables and textured metallic pillows 

And no wedding event, from rehearsal dinner to reception, is complete without the star of the evening: the food. LA-based Contemporary Catering embraced the rustic-meets-modern challenge with an elaborate yet approachable menu featuring fresh, local ingredients. “For this particular menu, all of the produce was sourced from local farms within 150 miles of Los Angeles,” notes Neubauer. “Fresh, seasonal ingredients with simple, impeccable preparation is always the way to go.” The menu began with a beautiful round of appetizers that included flash-fried squash blossoms and truffle-butter poached quail eggs over braised pork belly. The family-style dinner featured house-made pappardelle with organic duck ragoût; porcini-rubbed ribeye steak; and platters of grilled heirloom carrots, Parmesan-kissed kale and crisp, salted potatoes—all delicately plated and served like the works of art that they were. “Food is the star, so beyond making the most fabulous food one possibly can, [it’s about] finishing each and every dish,” says Neubauer. “Deliberately hand-placing microgreen garnishes is the polished touch that elevates a wonderful plate from casual to luxe.” 

Watercress and golden beets with pickled red onion, shaved fennel, fresh dill and sumac-feta yogurt

Tasting spoon with Weiser Farms ambrosia melon and ahi salad with yuzu and soy pearls;

Bacon, eggs and toast: truffle butter poached quail egg atop braised Niman Ranch pork belly on housemade brioche toast

Fried Valdivia Farms squash blossoms stuffed with chile-infused Laura Chenel chevre 

Chef Chef Neubauer used a blend of citrus, almond and apple wood to get a great crust the porcini-rubbed steak 

During Cocktail hour guests were invited to create their own necklaces and earrings at the Bauble Bar by Kendra Scott 

Guests used a key to open a garden-inspired dessert of chocolate “soil” filled with surprise garden fruits: butterscotch flavored pears, lime peanut butter apples and chocolate flavored oranges. 

Click on the below images to peruse the more images from this beautiful setting at Cielo Farms.

City State:

Cielo Farms


Calligraphy/Place Cards
Avalon Chauffeured Services