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Top Chefs Dish on Cooking with Foraged Foods -
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Chef Jason Cogley of Aubergine in Carmel garnishes with red sea grapes

January 20, 2015  – Did you know that seawater makes a perfect poaching broth for fish? Or that common weeds like stinging nettles and sour grass can be coaxed into fine restaurant-quality dishes?

Participants in the first Forager’s Kitchen cooking class last weekend—organized by Edible Monterey Bay magazine—learned the secrets of cooking with often overlooked local ingredients that are readily available to anyone who takes the time to wander through the redwood forests or along rocky beaches. 

The cooking class was part of the three-day Big Sur Foragers Festival held annually to benefit the Big Sur Health Center. This year’s festival raised more than $35,000 to support the health center over the next year.

More than 500 people … Read More

Passionfish’s Ted and Cindy Walter to share their love at Holman Ranch -

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January 20, 2015 – February’s “In Your Backyard” event at Holman Ranch’s tasting room will showcase the passion that Ted and Cindy Walter, proprietors of Passionfish in Pacific Grove, have for sea life and for serving it in delicious, sustainable ways.

The series, hosted by Holman Ranch and sponsored by Edible Monterey Bay, gives food producers and food artisans a place to share expertise in a casual, conversational format. Each demonstration also offers recommendations for the best wine to pair with the featured culinary item.

On Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 6pm, Ted, Passionfish’s chef, plans to demonstrate three different way of preparing a local fin fish. He’ll show how to do a raw fish crudo, a ceviche, and one other method that allows the flavors of the fish … Read More

Jack O’Neill Buys a farm -

jack_oneillJanuary 13, 2015 – We’re stoked! Surfing legend Jack O’Neill has purchased one of the last remaining farms within the city of Santa Cruz. Escrow closed January 2 on a six-acre parcel of prime cropland on Ocean St. Extension, which has been farmed for the past 30 years by Route 1 Farms. “The farm represented an opportunity to support family farming that my father embraced,” said Bridget O’Neill, daughter of the 91-year-old inventor of the wetsuit. “It’s the best possible outcome,” beamed Route 1 Farms owner Jeff Larkey, who leases the land and scrambled last summer to find new owners when the property was put up for sale.

Jack O’Neill has lived in Santa Cruz for more than 50 years and is a huge fan of local, … Read More

Cooking for Solutions is back with year round program of food and wine events -

wineJanuary 13, 2015 – Sustainability of resources is something we should think about every day, not just one weekend of the year. That’s the thinking behind changing the popular Cooking for Solutions event from a two-day blowout every May for the past 13 years to a year round program with multiple dates and venues. 

The sustainability message might have gotten a wee bit buried amidst the huge logistics involved in putting on what was essentially a giant Friday night party, according to Ken Peterson, communications director at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Such effort might be better spent in bringing the sustainability message to more people, in more places, connecting a wider audience with chefs, farmers, winemakers and food artisans—at the Aquarium and beyond. To do so, they are leveraging their … Read More

What’s Cooking This Year? -

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.53.26 AMJanuary 6, 2015 – The new year is here and it promises to be a big one for local food. Here are some of the openings we can’t wait for in the first months of 2015. Topping the list has got to be tasting through the new menu at Restaurant 1833 in Monterey, that newly installed chef Jason Franey has promised for the start of the year. Or trying the Italian pastries and deli fare expected at the new Il Grillo, opening soonish in Carmel by the owners of the popular La Balena. In Aptos, we’re looking for the casual Hideout to open where Ma Maison used to be. Then there are two new breweries that can’t open quickly enough, Dan Satterthwaite’s New Bohemian on 41st Avenue and Steel Read More

Behind the scenes at the Good Food Awards -

10881687_827630810614010_8500016512213721030_nJanuary 6, 2015 – The “oscars” of the artisan food world take place in San Francisco on Thursday and we wish the best of luck to all the local nominees: Chris LeVeque of El Salchichero; Rebecca King of Garden Variety Cheese; Sean Venus of Venus Spirits; Isabel Freed of Pantry House; and Colby Barr and Ryan O’Donovan of Verve Coffee Roasters.

The 2015 Good Food Awards marks the fifth annual spotlight on American food producers who uphold ethical, authentic and delicious practices. Every year since 2011, when the original seven categories—coffee, charcuterie, cheese, beer, pickles, preserves, chocolate—brought 780 entries, the playing field has grown and grown. In 2012 the spirits category was added, in 2013 it was confections, in 2014 it was oil and this … Read More

SECRETS TO COOKING WITH FORAGED FOODS REVEALED -
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Aubergine chef Justin Cogley

December 23, 2014 – Did you ever wonder how to best prepare the beautiful chanterelles that pop up in our area in January? Or cook the delicious, deep green wild nettle dishes you may have enjoyed at restaurants like La Balena? Or how to serve the beautiful sea vegetables you see pictured in magazines like EMB, or, may have eaten at Aubergine?

You’re in luck, because on Sunday, Jan. 18, some of our area’s best chefs who are known for wrangling wild delicacies to the plate will be sharing their secrets at a special cooking class at Big Sur Lodge.

The class promises to be exciting: Aubergine’s Justin Cogley, named one of Food & Wine magazine’s best new chefs of 2013, will show you how … Read More

Soil is the Solution at 35th EcoFarm Conference -

ecofarm-conference-453x300December 23, 2014 – The Ecological Farming Association conference has put the “eco” into “ag” for over three decades, providing a forum for people to learn to grow food organically with the support of a community of farmers, ranchers, merchants, distributors, educators, policy makers, activists, and consumers.  

Now in its 35th year, the message of EcoFarm 2015 is that holistic agriculture can actually regenerate Planet Earth and her soils in the face of climate change, reversing damage while producing abundant, pure and nutritious food. Citing research from the Rodale Institute, executive director Ken Dickerson says, “The data is out. It’s science.” In other words: It’s not just a hippie fantasy: it’s biology, it’s science.

More than 2,000 people are expected to attend upwards of 80 educational sessions—as well as … Read More

Bakery Station Sold, but not gone -
Ana Melissa Garcia and Erika Oiivarez sell the Bakery Station

Ana Melissa Garcia and Erika Oiivarez sell the Bakery Station

December 23, 2014 – After five years of creating scrumptious artisan pastries and breads in a converted gas station, owners of the popular Bakery Station in Salinas have sold the business to pursue other interests. Co-owner Ana Melissa Garcia will start classes with ALBA on January 3 with the goal of becoming an organic farmer and hops grower.

“The last five years have been wonderful and I feel really happy to have done something that made a contribution to the community, but I believe it’s time to make a change,” said Garcia. Her partner Erika Olivarez plans to return to her previous career as a family counselor. Garcia has been tending the herb garden at the historic Harvey House, home … Read More

Dory Ford Unveils Big Expansion to Denver -

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 11.53.57 AMDecember 16, 2014 – Chef Dory Ford—owner of AQUA TERRA Culinary in Pacific Grove—was in Denver today signing the lease on a huge new project in the mile high city. He’s restoring and reopening one of Denver’s landmark restaurants, an ice creamery, confectionery and a speakeasy with a full live music program. In addition, Ford plans to expand both his catering business and his school lunch program to Denver, all the while maintaining his local catering business and restaurant operations at Point Pinos Grill and A Taste of Monterey.

The energetic and talented chef said the time was right to expand his popular business, “Last weekend we got rave reviews on five events we did simultaneously, I’ve got a staff that is firing on all cylinders right now.”

So he … Read More

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