Chef and GM out, Bill Lee hired at Rocky Point -

682_bSeptember 20, 2014 – Consulting chef Soerke Peters and his partner, general manager Amy Stouffer, have abruptly left Rocky Point Restaurant and local culinary legend Bill Lee has been hired to run the spectacular, but problem-plagued, cliffside aerie between Carmel and Big Sur.

Peters gave no reason for the sudden departures and he and Stouffer were both unavailable for comment. But in an email to EMB, he said simply that the two were “available for new opportunities in the hospitality industry.”

Grace Wang, who owns the restaurant with her husband Peter Wang, confirmed that Lee had been hired as general manager and was bringing in chef Herman Hernandez to start on Wednesday. “We really wish Soerke and Amy the best of luck in the future,” she said.

Lee … Read More

Vietnamese sandwich stars in new cookbook -

6a00d8341ef22f53ef0115702b758d970c-500piSeptember 22, 2014 – It’s not any old sandwich that merits its own cookbook. But there is nothing ordinary about the tangy, crunchy, meaty, yet delicate Vietnamese sandwich called bahn mi. Award-winning Santa Cruz food writer and teacher Andrea Nguyen has a hit on her hands with her recently published Bahn Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches. 

It’s a small, pretty book with colorful photographs and beautiful illustrations. It also offers a short, yet potent, history lesson on the popular sandwich, explaining why it is a perfect example of Vietnamese food culture. “The bread, condiments, and some of the meats are the legacy of Chinese and French colonialism. The pickles, cilantro, and chile reflect Viet tastes for bright flavors and fresh vegetables,” she writes.

With several publications under … Read More

Playground for the Palate at MY Museum Dinner -

MY2hSeptember 22, 2014 – Set high above Carmel Valley on Hawk Ridge, this past weekend’s MY Spectacular Dinner—a fundraising event benefiting Monterey County Youth Museum (MY Museum)—was a delight for all the senses. Breathtaking views abounded; the scent of lavender, garden roses, and citrus trees wafted from the gardens onto the terraces; delectable bites and wines seemed never-ending; and laughter punctuated conversations with old and new friends alike.

A trio of local chefs presented dishes that mirrored the museum’s identity. While MY Museum is a playground for the mind, the chefs’ dishes were a playground for the palate – creative, colorful, and delicious.

Executive chef Jason Giles, of Portola Hotel & Spa, opened the evening with an hors d’oeuvres course that combined salty and sweet in almost every morsel. It … Read More

San Benito County’s gourmet celebration spotlights olives and more -

01ce6434-7e9e-4e8f-9351-e0c20e452129September 19, 2014 – Quickly becoming one of the main events on the local food calendar, the 2nd annual San Benito Olive Festival on October 11 near Hollister promises to be bigger, better and more accessible than the first celebration last fall.

“The festival shines a spotlight on San Benito County’s culinary agriculture and premier food artisans,” said founder and president Kathina Szeto. “We had such positive feedback after the first festival that we think it helped change the image of our area to a very welcoming place and raise our profile among visitors.”

Edible Monterey Bay will be running a Facebook promotion and ticket giveaway for the San Benito Olive Festival, so be sure to like us on FB and find out how you can win free tickets … Read More

Shrub Doctor Prescribes Elixirs -

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 10.55.46 AMSeptember 16, 2014 – Using traditional techniques from the colonial era, Vesuvio general manager Christian Pèpe and bar manager Jay Wallace are launching a line of six fresh fruit shrubs that make great cocktail mixers. “We’ve been serving them at the restaurant since the beginning of the year and thought it was such good stuff that we decided to put it in a bottle and sell it,” says Wallace. A website for the new brand, called Shrub Doctor, went live today and includes information about the ingredients, how the elixirs are made and cocktail recipes.

Wallace says they are bottling their elixirs in the kitchen at Carmel Bakery using a very simple combination of fresh fruits, pure cane sugar and vinegar. They are not cooked, so the result is … Read More

Polar Opposites open in Santa Cruz County -

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 10.08.39 AMSept 9, 2014 – The wine scene continues to build like a crescendo of waves amped up by a hurricane, with multiple new tasting rooms opening locally in the last few months.

Among them are Armitage and Bottle Jack, as different as two scenarios could be, yet both fueled by the passions of young men influenced by overseas life experiences.

First, there’s Brandon Armitage’s new tasting room, tucked away in a shopping center in Aptos, where you seriously have to hunt to find him. But it is worth the effort, especially if you crave well-made pinot noir, his lifequest varietal.

He’s pretty much devoted to this grape since he fell in love with it while studying viticulture in New Zealand. Up until then, the Oregon native with a passion … Read More

5-course lunch debuts at Sierra Mar -

Smoked Venison TartareSept 2, 2014 – Post Ranch Inn executive chef John Cox is launching this week a five-course daytime tasting menu that he says was inspired by the stunning drive between Carmel and Big Sur.

“Afternoon is one of my favorite times at Post Ranch,” Cox says, adding that the new lunch menu “offers guests the opportunity to try some of our more creative ingredients and techniques even if they are only in Big Sur for the afternoon or stopping in on their way down the coast.”            

Tasting menus—and the risk-taking, artistic heights that chefs take them to—tend to be limited to the confines of evening dining.

But Big Sur is an altogether different setting, and many would argue that from both an aesthetic and safety standpoint, the winding route around … Read More

You’re invited to fabulous fall release parties -

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.58.33 AMMake plans now to join Edible Monterey Bay and celebrate the release of our new fall issue at two not-to-be-missed special events. It’s our 3rd anniversary and we’re holding two release parties in less visited parts of our coverage area this time, to give readers a chance to discover some of the attractions right here in our own backyard. They’re on different dates and they’re free, so plan to attend both! RSVP by TUESDAY to win great prizes

On September 3 from 5:30-7:30pm join us in sunny Carmel Valley on the European-style courtyard of Twisted Roots tasting room. We’ll have an array of complimentary appetizers by Wild Thyme catering and you can enjoy Twisted Roots wines for just $5 a glass with owners Josh and Julie Ruiz. Carmel Valley … Read More

RIP Cooking for Solutions, Hello smaller events -

c4cab0b3-3427-4b9e-9167-9f7811b04cd9August 26, 2014 – After 13 exciting, educational years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is bringing an end to its annual Cooking for Solutions extravaganza—the seminal national event aimed at raising consciousness among chefs as well as home cooks about how the way we cook affects the health of the planet. 

But for the thousands of people who will surely miss it, the good news is that the Aquarium is aiming to convert its annual blowout into more of a year-round experience that will preserve many of its components and include new ones. What’s more, the hope is to offer some of what were CFS’s sub-events more than once each year, and repeat some in other parts of the U.S.

In some ways, the huge event, which had grown to accommodate … Read More

Big jump in “allowable fish” at Seafood Watch -

seafood-watch-consumer-guideAugust 26, 2014 – Hoping to diversify the types of fish on our plates, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program is adding ten more fish species to its allowable list and taking many varieties of rockfish off the red “avoid” list.

“We can’t all eat just three species of fish,” says Sheila Bowman, manager of culinary initiatives at Seafood Watch, referring to the big three of the seafood world: shrimp, tuna and salmon.

“There’s very good news for the rockfish species, which is one of the most common fish in the Monterey Bay,” she adds. “It’s not the kind of fish that rebounds quickly, so many of us never expected to see it come off the red list in this decade or even the next decade. We’re just thrilled.”

Bowman … Read More