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4th Annual Butterfly Day

4th Annual Butterfly Day 

Get ready for the fourth annual Topanga Butterfly Day, on Sunday, May 7, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Mountain Mermaid. Topanga Butterfly Day is a fun, family-oriented, environmental festival dedicated to promoting, protecting, and appreciating butterflies, bees, and all other essential pollinators. (

The festival features music all day, delicious food and drink, a live butterfly house filled with butterflies, native butterfly plants for sale, environmental education exhibits, face-painting and other art activities for kids, all on the butterfly-filled grounds of the Mountain Mermaid in the heart of Topanga. Event organizer and Mermaid proprietor Bill Buerge describes some of this year’s highlights:

At previous Butterfly Days, the school parents and volunteers toiled tirelessly selling carloads of homemade and store-bought edibles. This year, we’re leaving it to the pros with a food court out front where mostly local and inspired practitioners of the culinary arts will be plying their wares. 

Ryan Lagasse—Little Lamb Coffee and Clay. Photo by Wasim Muklashy

Ryan Lagasse—Little Lamb Coffee and Clay

Lagasse has joined her love for ceramics and coffee to create an unexpected and adorable mobile beverage bus, plus shop. You will find her serving out the side-window of her hand-painted, pink and white, lovingly-converted, former airport shuttle bus, complete with hanging dried flower bouquets. The little shop on wheels is named “Little Lamb”, she says, “where consciously crafted espresso and hand-built ceramics set the mood for a grounding escape from the everyday”.  The handmade mugs, drinking cups, and such—and the coffee—are all Ryan’s personal creations, but the shop also carries local floral artisans, Idlewild Floral, Brooms by Grace, and Hansel from Basel. @thisislittlelamb

Jummee Park—Jummee’s Bliss Kitchen

Jummee Park—Jummee’s Bliss Kitchen

For those following a vegan path, Jumme is for you. A self-described food shaman, and wellness consultant, Jummee’s culinary offerings are delicious, health-promoting, and drop-dead gorgeous, all at the same time. Her food is like art. Founder of Jummee’s Bliss Kitchen, and Jummee Kimchi, her aim is to nourish both body and soul. “My journey of personal transformation has helped me discover practical wisdom that I am passionate about sharing with you, to live a life of balance and wholeness through food and mind medicine.” @jummee.bliss

Adriana Lemus—La Chingona Tacos. Photo by Tess

Adriana Lemus—La Chingona Tacos

For many years now, the ever-effervescent Adriana Lemus has been a regular feature in and around Topanga Canyon Boulevard serving up fresh and delicious, homemade, gluten and dairy-free, mostly organic street tacos. The tortillas are hand-wrought from fresh ground-corn by busy ladies called, “tortilleras.” Lemus says her tortillas, “are cooked on a high heat griddle with organic olive oil, seasoned with Himalayan salt, organic garlic, paprika, and black pepper.” Lemus moved to Topanga from Guatemala over 20 years ago and took on many food-related jobs, and is now focused on serving “taco medicine” (her words) in the heart of Topanga on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 5 to 8pm. Except for Sunday, May 7, when she will be at Butterfly Day from 10am until 6pm.

Patrice Winter—The Canyon Bakery aka The Angel
in Your Kitchen. Photo by Bill Buerge

Patrice Winter—The Canyon Bakery aka The Angel in Your Kitchen

I first met Patrice 25 or so years ago when she was doing catering gigs at the Mermaid. She was a force of nature, crackling with energy and wit, with a distinctive thick braid tossing around like a horse’s tail. Patrice was also a popular yoga teacher situated in a dojo on the creek under the Sycamores below Pat’s Grill—now, Cafe on 27. A long-time Topanga resident, Winter, aka The Angel in Your Kitchen, and her ever-supportive husband, Dave, serve the community fermented, freshly milled, one hundred percent whole grain bread, pastries, pizzas and all-around delicious food. All grains used by the Canyon Bakery are locally and sustainably sourced. At Butterfly Day they will serve muffins and cookies. The Canyon Bakery 1419 N Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga  @theangelinyourkitchen

Kristina Rocco-Levy, & Jed Levy—Rocco’s Cucina

Kristina Rocco-Levy, & Jed Levy—Rocco’s Cucina

To me, the Rocco family is like Topanga royalty. I first met Kristina’s dad, Frank Rocco, in the early 1980s when he contacted me from Malibu looking for a home to move to in Topanga. Long-story-short, the whole family settled here, opened Roccos in The Canyon, and the rest is history. Gail and I personally dined there somewhere between 500 and a zillion times, before they sold and moved the business to the Palisades. Happily, Kristina and Jed still live in Topanga, just a pizza dough-ball’s throw from the Mermaid. On Butterfly Day, their entire Palisades store will be dedicated to producing and shuttling, they figure, at least one hundred pizzas to the Mermaid. Rocco’s Cucina 7332 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades

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