Three big name personalities, a new emphasis on animal agriculture and growing interest in biodynamic farming highlight the 34th annual EcoFarm Conference taking place at Asilomar in Pacific Grove on January 22-25, 2014. Early registration ends on December 7th, so sign up this week to get the best deals.
Under the theme Gather & Grow, EcoFarm Executive Director Ken Dickerson and Program Coodinator Liz Birnbaum have organized dozens of sessions—some inspirational and others highly technical—aimed at farmers, ranchers and all those interested in good food.
“Our mission is to encourage the growth of a healthy, ecologically sound and economically viable agricultural system,” says Dickerson. “This system of farming has reached sort of a critical mass and people understand its value, so the market continues to expand, but we try to help small and medium-sized farms overcome some of the hurdles they face in becoming successful.”
Former USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will open the conference, speaking about Gains and Goals for the Good Food Movement and leading a panel on successful multi-generational organic businesses and how they can maintain their commitment to social and environmental causes. The panel includes the second or third generation CEO’s of… Read More
Turkey-phobic or pie-challenged hosts and hostesses in the Monterey Bay area have nothing to fear this Thanksgiving. Help is just a phone call away, with more and more excellent options for Thanksgiving dinners to go—many of them organic. EMB’s annual list of indispensible holiday helpers allows you to spend more time with your guests. But beware, most Thanksgiving items need to be ordered by Friday, Nov 20, so don’t delay.
High-end restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula are always a good choice for celebrating the holidays, but this year several top dining spots are offering their gourmet meals to enjoy at home. Carmel Valley Ranch will prepare the whole shebang including Apple Cider Brined Diestel Turkey, soup, sides and pie in sizes for up to 14 people. Award-winning Aubergine chef Justin Cogley will also be cooking for the to-go crowd offering Juniper-Orange Spiced Brined Willie Bird Turkey from Sonoma County and an array of gourmet sides, along with desserts like Pumpkin Custard and Pecan Pies. Each dish can be ordered individually. Schooners Coastal Kitchen is another fine restaurant offering complete Thanksgiving dinners and pies to go, including Sage and Herb Crusted Free-Range Turkey.
Earthbound Farmstand’s chef Sarah LaCasse can also help… Read More
One of the biggest fundraisers of the year for Big Sur nonprofits, the Big Sur Food & Wine Festival, will get started with the “Gateway to Big Sur” event at the Hyatt Highlands this Thursday, November 7. From there, it launches into the hills and dales of Big Sur’s stunning coastline, with walking tours, tastings and extravagant wine dinners galore.
Many events are already sold out, but as of this writing, tickets are still available for the festival’s 3rd annual porcine extravaganza, the Wine & Swine dinner, which Pig Wizard Jon Roberts will preside over on Friday evening at the Henry Miller Library. There are also still tickets for the fabulous auction lunch on Saturday, also at Henry Miller Library, and for Sunday’s Lexus Grand Tasting at Post Ranch. Tickets for all these events, as well as shuttles and hotel rooms are going fast, however, so it’s best to book as soon as possible.
The Auction Lunch, to be held 11:30am to 3pm on Saturday, promises 30 exciting auction items, along with extraordinary wines and food. Bubbles and bottled beauties from ROAR, Copain, Champagne Gonet-Medeville and Louis Roederer Cristal will accompany culinary offerings from renowned chefs including Brian Overhauser… Read More
Edible Monterey Bay has learned Bernardus General Manager Michael Oprish called staff together last Wednesday to deliver the news, telling employees the sale to Noble House was 98% certain to go through in the next two weeks.
“I’m excited about the new owners because each of their other properties is very unique to its location and it’s not a cookie cutter chain,” he said by phone, without confirming the name of the buyers.
Noble House is a privately held company that owns or manages 16 luxury boutique hotels in places like Napa Valley, Palm Springs, San Diego, Telluride, Key West and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They also operate the Edgewater and Deca hotels in Seattle.
Noble House President of Development Jamie Colee—a 1992 graduate of UC Santa Cruz in Economics—is in charge of the acquisition, but he referred our calls to their PR agency, which declined to comment.
The deal includes Bernardus Lodge and Will’s Fargo restaurant in Carmel Valley. Bernardus Winery and vineyards in the Cachagua hills will remain in the hands of owner Ben Pon. The 7-acre Ingrid’s… Read More
Just CLICK HERE to make your choice for your favorite Farm/Farmer, Chef/Restaurant, Beverage Artisan, Food Artisan, Retailer and Nonprofit.
The awards are intended to recognize outstanding contributions to the local foods movement in the Monterey Bay community. To qualify, nominees must be located in Monterey, San Benito or Santa Cruz Counties.
Voting will close on Dec. 15 so don’t delay in making your choices! Winners will be announced in Spring 2014 and will be honored at a dinner later in the year.
For more about our 2013 local heroes and a magical farm dinner we sponsored earlier this month to recognize them and to raise money for the Homeless Garden Project, click HERE.… Read More
October 14, 2013 – The visionary entrepreneurs behind the Penny Ice Creamery of Santa Cruz are building a new full-service restaurant with seasonal, locally-sourced cuisine right downtown on Pacific Avenue, but its opening date has been delayed due to the government shutdown.
The 100-seat restaurant will be called “Assembly” and will be located about halfway between the Del Mar Theater and Chianti’s Pizzeria in a 6,000 sq ft space formerly occupied by Aqua Bleu.
“Our focus will be on community dining,” said Zachary Davis, co-owner of the Penny and the Picnic Basket Café with chef Kendra Baker. “It will be a gathering place in keeping with our philosophy of using seasonal and local products.”
“Assembly to us means both a place where people can get together and an assemblage of the local food artisans, growers and purveyors that we work with,” he added.
The new restaurant was set to open by the end of the year, but $500,000 in financing from the Small Business Administration has been held up due to the government shutdown in Washington. “We got all the paperwork in and now we wait. The government’s closed down,” Davis told CBS Evening News in a report aired… Read More
October 8, 2013 – It could not have been a more perfect evening. The rare warmth of an Indian summer evening on the coast, tables set in a fragrant garden growing good things to eat and a wonderful community of people who are passionate about delicious local food.
Edible Monterey Bay’s 2013 Local Heroes Dinner—held Saturday, Oct 5 at the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz—featured the creative dishes of four stellar chefs followed by an inspiring panel discussion by local heroes chosen by EMB readers, including: Jamie Collins of Serendipity Farms; Scott Roseman of New Leaf Community Markets; Willy Elliot-McCrae of Second Harvest Food Bank; Tom Broz of Life Earth Farm; Kendra Baker and Zachary Davis of The Penny Ice Creamery, Tabitha Stroup of Friend in Cheeses Jam and Darrie Ganzhorn of the Homeless Garden Project—which helped host the dinner and received all proceeds.
“The readers got it right, our local heroes are true game-changers in our good food movement,” said EMB publisher Sarah Wood in welcoming about 100 guests. “And all the chefs donating their time take cooking… Read More
October 1, 2013 – The Teen Kitchen Project isn’t your average afterschool program. Since starting in Santa Cruz County in September 2012, 75 local teens have volunteered 800 hours to make more than 5,300 meals for 51 individuals with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
The organization will be celebrating its one-year anniversary with Taking Root! A Farm Dinner at Live Earth Farm on Saturday, Oct. 5. Chef Jonathan Miller, known for his healthy cuisine, will take the helm at this public fundraising event.
Executive Director and Santa Cruz County schoolteacher Angela Farley was called to start The Teen Kitchen Project after experiencing the impact of a serious illness on her own family. Starting in 2011, her youngest son, who is now doing OK, battled a rare form of lung cancer, undergoing surgeries and chemotherapy.
“I had the idea of what the spiritual component [of a project] would be, to be held by your community in a time of need by being provided nourishing meals,” Farley says of how she got the idea. Food is an age-old way of showing love and support and providing comfort for others, but it wasn’t until Farley spent one week training at the Ceres Community… Read More
September 24, 2013 – If the City of Santa Cruz gives its final approval later this fall, the Homeless Garden Project could finally have a home of its own—and enjoy a new level of sustainability for its important work in helping homeless people restore their spirits and get back on their feet.
For nearly 20 years, the HGP has been nestled on a borrowed, picturesque bit of the Natural Bridges area, within walking distance of the beach and Long Marine Lab. It’s on this farm where Edible Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz Weekly will join forces to sponsor a fall farm supper and honor our 2013 Local Heroes while raising money for HGP. The dinner will feature the food of chefs from La Balena, Passionfish, The Penny Ice Creamery and Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar, as well as a dynamic panel led by the Monterey Institute’s Jason Scorse. All proceeds will go to HGP. Tickets are going fast; buy yours before they sell out by clicking here.
If all goes well with the city this fall, HGP will be able to begin making plans to relocate to a permanent home on a nine-acre parcel in the Pogonip that was… Read More
Sept 17, 2013 – This is really my favorite time of year. The weather is great, the light is shifting to that golden bronze shimmer of early fall and the markets are bursting with abundance. As opposed to spring, when we salivate over those first few baskets of strawberries, this time of year is all about apples. By the height of summer, the glut of strawberries evokes barely a glance, but for me, apples will always steal the show. I average about two a day all fall; a hunk of cheese, maybe some almond butter, and that’s lunch. I don’t get sick of them. In fact, apples might be one of the reasons I like this time of year the best.
Live Earth Farm just had their 5th annual Slice, Dinner in the Orchard event—a fundraiser for the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program (LEFDP) non-profit that works towards educating kids of all ages about where their food comes from. This season’s magic is certainly not a secret around here, with so many events planned and things to celebrate before the rain arrives, and Live Earth couldn’t have chosen a better day for their party on Saturday, September 14. For someone… Read More