Irvine Company completes donation of 20,000 acres of permanently protected natural parks

April 11, 2012 – Ushering in a sweeping new era of public ownership and access to thousands of acres of Orange County’s most prized natural lands, the (Orange County) Board of Supervisors today accepted the long-anticipated final gift of more than 20,000 acres of pristine, permanently protected open space and parklands from the Irvine Company.

These lands have been designated both a California and National Natural Landmark and are part of a grand total of 50,000 acres of permanently protected open space and parklands located on The Irvine Ranch and donated to Orange County. This unprecedented gift was created through collaborative conservation efforts spanning over 100 years involving the Irvine Company, community organizations, municipalities, government agencies and environmental groups.

This exceptional 50,000-acre gift is over 10 times the size of Griffith Park in Los Angeles (4,210 acres) and almost 60 times the size of Central Park in New York (843 acres).

The vast donation of permanently protected land includes: Bommer Canyon, Crystal Cove State Park, Upper Newport Bay, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, and Quail Hill. Today’s gift adds the spectacular Limestone, Fremont, Weir, Black Star and Gypsum canyons to that list.

More details about the donation – Donald-Bren.com

Continue reading Irvine Company completes donation of 20,000 acres of permanently protected natural parks

New Guinness Record for largest chocolate sculpture – 18,000 pound Mayan temple

A California dessert and pastry school, located in Irvine, has just broken the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture:

To celebrate our 30th anniversary, Qzina Specialty Foods, has broken a Guinness World Record for building the largest chocolate sculpture. The sculpture models an ancient Mayan temple and weighs 18,239 pounds, far surpassing the previous record set in Italy in 2010 by more than 7,500 pounds.

 

 

Qzina chose the Mayan theme because of the crucial role the culture played in the origins of chocolate.  The Mayans were one of the first civilizations to cultivate Cacao trees and discover the true potential of the cocoa bean. Realizing the delicious possibilities of this powerful discovery, the Mayans worshipped the Cacao tree and praised its beans as the food of the Gods.

Qzina’s Corporate Pastry Chef, Francois Mellet, was the lead architect on this massive project and MOF Stephane Treand (Meilleur Ouvrier de France or Best Craftsman in France) lent his artistic touch to the sculpture’s intricate design elements. Mellet, together with his team, spent more than 400 hours constructing this magnificent structure of solid chocolate that was created using an assortment of Qzina’s leading chocolate brands.

 

 

Extensive planning and research set the groundwork to accurately capture the details and intricacies of an authentic Mayan temple down to the exact number of steps and panels representing numbers significant to the Mayan calendar. Built proportionally to the ancient temple’s true size, the solid chocolate pyramid is six feet tall and its base measures 10 feet by 10 feet – exactly one-thirtieth the size. The sculpture’s base alone weighs more than 3,000 pounds.

The chocolate pyramid will be displayed at the Qzina Institute of Chocolate & Pastry, located in Irvine, California, and will be available to view beginning June 4, 2012 when the institute and product showroom is officially open to the public (Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. –  5:00 p.m.). Qzina plans to destroy the chocolate sculpture on December 21, 2012 when the Mayan calendar comes to an end. The method for destruction is yet to be determined.

via Qzina News

 

More Photos:
Continue reading New Guinness Record for largest chocolate sculpture – 18,000 pound Mayan temple