An ‘Apotheberry’ experience featuring California Strawberry farmers, Christina Milian and other LA influencers

California Strawberries celebrates the “Million Ways to Love Strawberries”

Scroll for a slideshow and a recipe from today’s event!

Today the California Strawberry Commission hosted an exclusive “Million Ways to Love Strawberries” event at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel to celebrate peak strawberry season, the unique versatility and love consumers have for the vibrant, healthy berry, and the extraordinary people who grow them.

California strawberry farmers Neil Nagata and Mayra Paniagua represented the hundreds of strawberry farmers who grow nearly 90 percent of the nation’s strawberries on less than 1 percent of the Golden State’s farmland. Many are second-and third-generation farmers with a long history of demonstrating love and care for the land and the people who grow and harvest the fruit, and for the communities where they live.  Without farmers and farm workers, it would be impossible to get strawberries to grocery stores across the world. 

Matthew Biancaniello and Christina Milian

Celebrity actress, singer, entrepreneur and mom of three, Christina Milian was there to celebrate all things strawberries and share a special strawberry version of her beignets from Beignet Box. Other notable food and nutrition influencers were there to serve guests their fabulous strawberry creations, including:

  • Celebrity Chef Arnold Myint, from “Top Chef” and Food Network Star Season 11 prepared two savory strawberry dishes – Thai Son-in-Law Eggs with Strawberry Tamarind Sauce and Strawberry Scallop Ceviche.
  • Matthew Biancaniello, author of Eat Your Drink, prepared three unique strawberry cocktails in celebration of strawberries, including The Last Tango in ModenaStrawberry Bubbly Mary, and Strawberry Infused Tequila with Surinam Cherries and Shiso.
  • Dani Flowers, creator of the first Cake Bar in the world, and social media influencer, shared and demonstrated her mini Strawberry Lunchbox Cakes filled with strawberries.
  • Cecilia Cid, 12 year-old tamale chef and her Abuela, prepared their family strawberry tamale recipe.
  • Mascha Davis, registered dietitian and influencer, shared her strawberry, beetroot, and turmeric wellness elixir while highlighting the health benefits of strawberries.
  • Donna Colucci, licensed aesthetician and founder of Bella Donna Skin Studio in LA showcased the benefits of strawberries in beauty products through strawberry-infused facial concoctions.
  • Aspacia Kusulas, graphic designer, calligraphy and letterpress printer created love letters for event guests with a special strawberry ink.

“We are excited to host this event and shine a spotlight on the love that consumers have for strawberries,” said Chris Christian, Senior Vice President, California Strawberry Commission. “Having our growers here to share their family farming stories and their passion for growing this healthy, sweet and versatile berry makes it extra special.”

For more information on California Strawberries, please visit and follow CSC on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. 

Stay tuned here at basil & salt this week, as we share a few of the delicious recipes from this event!

Thai Son in Law Eggs with Strawberry Tamarind Sauce

Serves 24


  • 12 Eggs
  • 4 ounces Palm sugar (2 discs/coins or Brown Sugar works as well)
  • 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Tamarind concentrate 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Distilled vinegar
  • 8-10 Dried chile peppers or Arbol, Japanese or Thai
  • 12-16 ounces Strawberries, halved
  • 2 Shallots
  • Cilantro for garnish Fry Oil
  • Corn Starch
  • Rice Flour


Fried Boiled Eggs

  1. Hard boil eggs with standard technique and peel. Once cooled, pat dry and lightly coat in equal parts corn starch and rice flour.
  2. Fry in 325-degree oil until crispy and toasty brown.

Strawberry-Tamarind Gastrique

  1. Place ingredients except for strawberries into a sauce pot and dissolve sugar. Reduce liquid by 1/3 until viscous and sticky.
  2. Remove chile peppers and add strawberries while liquid is still hot. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from heat. Allow the sauce to cool. Strain the strawberries.

Fried Shallots

  1. Use store bought from the Asian Market or thin slice shallots and toss in a sprinkle of salt.
  2. Dust with corn starch and fry in 325-degree oil until golden. Remove and save for garnish.


  1. Halve the fried boiled eggs, drizzle with strawberry sauce, garnish with dress chile, fried shallot and cilantro.

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