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Gradual opening for new Santa Cruz kitchen -

10426129_788748097859900_2249044674721815057_nFebruary 24, 2015 – Ask any long time Santa Cruz resident about the original India Joze and you will likely see a warm, nostalgic look come over their face. Stories about the restaurant, which was really more of a gathering space and a nexus for the community until it closed in the late 1990’s, run vast and deep in this town. So the fact that Food Lounge—a combination commercial kitchen, business incubator, event space, pop-up venue and artisan marketplace—has taken over this legendary location at 1001 Center Street in the Santa Cruz Art Center seems like a natural evolution.

Chef Andrea Mollenauer and Food Lounge partners Cat Hernandez and Sally Kane are embracing that history. In fact, they are already thinking about having an India Joze night, with the … Read More

Gusto brings authentic Italian cuisine to Seaside -

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 11.18.18 AMFebruary 24, 2015 – Gusto Handcrafted Pizza and Pasta opened over the weekend in the Seaside restaurant that housed Bill Lee’s short-lived Lucky’s Roadside.

“I want to bring authentic Italian food to Seaside,” says chef/owner Denis Boaro and judging from the crowds on opening night, that’s what the people want.

Specialties include: fresh Bigoli Pasta with roasted duck ragout and glazed cippoline onions; Fettucine Mare e Monti which melds shimp and wild mushrooms in tomato sauce; and Short Rib Ravioli with porcini-mascarpone sauce. All pasta comes from close friend Michele Cremonese’s Bigoli Fresh Pasta company in Sand City.

Gusto—which means taste in Italian, not the speed and enthusiasm of diners digging into the tasty pasta dishes—has undergone a front-of-the-house remodel with new flooring, a new bar and red tile surrounding … Read More

Guitars & Old Cars raise funds for Grower-Shipper Association Foundation -

_52A0542-XLFebruary 24, 2015 – Maybe you were caught up in Oscar buzz? Or maybe you were just relaxing after the AT&T Pro Am or a tough week at work? Either way, the good clean fun that the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation (GSAF) offered this weekend was so unexpectedly recharging and reinvigorating, one would have felt guilty if it weren’t for such a great cause.

The foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the agricultural industry through projects such programs as the AgKnowledge executive leadership program, A Greater Vision, More Produce in Schools and Budding Farmers.

Its first annual benefit concert, held February 20 at Corral de Tierra Country Club, was dubbed Guitars & Old Cars for Salad Bars and featured Doug Ranno and his band The … Read More

YOU’RE INVITED: EMB SPRING ISSUE RELEASE PARTIES -

Jacks_LoungeFebruary 17, 2015 - Edible Monterey Bay is excited to invite all of our readers to two parties in March—one at Jacks Lounge at the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey and the other at Soif Restaurant and Wine Merchants in Santa Cruz.

Both parties will celebrate the release of our new Spring 2015 issue as well the winners of our 2015 Local Heroes Awards, which we’ll disclose in the new edition!

First up is the party at Jacks on Thursday, March 12 from 4–7pm. Guests will be treated to complimentary small bites from Jacks’ new happy hour menu, which includes Pacific Cod Ceviche, Risotto Fritters, Roasted Garlic & Meyer Lemon Hummus, Corned Beef Sliders and Soy Marinated Beef Skewers with Korean-style Green Onion Slaw.

Jacks, which is located at … Read More

Main St. Garden is now Gioconda -

1798764_807557799315295_2154328917584879499_nFebruary 17, 2015 – One of Santa Cruz County’s best-loved farm-to-table restaurants is reopening Wednesday with a fresh coat of paint, a new name and a new chef/owner.

Luca Sergio Viara—who also operates Pizzeria Tramonti in the Seabright neighborhood of Santa Cruz—is a native of Turin, Italy and will be serving up northern Italian specialties like vitello tonnata, octopus salad, short rib ravioli, zucchini soufflé and lamb shanks braised in red wine. 

“We’re 100 per cent organic, even the salt,” says Viara. “All the salad greens and most of the veggies are produced by us and with the big garden out back I can grow veggies I like that are not available anywhere else.”

The new 60-seat Soquel restaurant is called Gioconda, the Italian name for the Mona Lisa, … Read More

Carmel Valley to get First Farmers’ Market -

market-basket-for-home-pageFebruary 10, 2015 – A new year-round farmers’ market is set to open in Carmel Valley village on March 20th. The market—to be held Friday afternoons from 2-6pm at the Carmel Valley Community Youth Center—will be run by the West Coast Farmers’ Market Association, the same group that has managed the controversial Carmel-by-the-Sea farmers’ market for the past year.

“I want to have markets with less handcuffs,” says Jerry Lami, who heads the association and manages 20 markets in the San Francisco Bay area. “I’m going to start off with all the bells and whistles we weren’t allowed to have in Carmel-by-the-Sea.”

Lami is just beginning to sign up farmers and other vendors for the Carmel Valley market, but is aiming for 20-25 stalls including produce, prepared foods, … Read More

Beer Geeks Unite at Twisted Tasting -

logoFebruary 10, 2015 – The term “geek” has blossomed in different directions over the past few years—at least within food culture—moving away from associations with awkward kids on computers and morphing instead into expert territory, people who are so passionate and knowledgeable about their interest that they hit geek-dom status. There may not be a topic as worthy of this semantic evolution than beer.

A pioneer in the local craft beer scene, Emily Thomas of Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and Cremer House, is one of the geeks in our midst. Not only does she know a whole lot about beer, she works tirelessly to promote the community that surrounds it.

Four years ago she launched the first annual Twisted Tasting event in conjunction with San Francisco Beer Week. … Read More

Grab Your Sweetheart and Hit the Trail: It’s River Road Passport Time -

RRWT_VP_2014_Passport-1.112524Feb 10, 2015 – The sweetheart of all wine tastings is back and this year it lands squarely on the target of cupid’s own arrow. It doesn’t get sweeter than the chance to celebrate a day of love with like-minded wine lovers who know how to cozy up to a good time. If you’ve never attended the River Road Wine Trail’s Valentine’s Passport Day, come wearing your heart on your sleeve, your chest, your fingers and ears—it’s a full on display of Valentine art, with lots of red, pink and scarlet to get everyone in a matching mood.

On Saturday, February 14, from 11am to 4pm, ten vintners along Monterey’s River Road Wine Trail welcome you with food and wine pairings, special wine sales and all manner of entertainment, … Read More

Digging into the importance of soil -

homePixReservoirFebruary 10, 2015 – The United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils, highlighting the importance of soil as an indicator of the health of the planet.

The world is taking note and closer to home—in the fertile and productive farming communities surrounding the Monterey Bay—this sentiment resonates. This year’s EcoFarm Conference in Pacific Grove presented a number of well-schooled voices bearing witness to soil as a key to preserving our future.

With all the buzz, the timing of the upcoming workshop “Restoring Health to Agricultural Ecosystems: Principles and Practices from Soil to Communities” at Paicines Ranch near Hollister could not be better. From March 4-6, the public is invited to dig deep into this issue, hearing from renowned experts in soil sustainability and learning core principles about … Read More

BONNY DOON LAUNCHING $750,000 CROWD-FUNDING CAMPAIGN -

RandallGrahm_web1-150x150February 3, 2015 – In a bid to finally finish financing his visionary plan to create 10,000 new vinifera grape varieties by hybridizing them from seed, Bonny Doon Vineyard’s Randall Grahm is getting ready to launch a massive $750,000, multi-platform crowd-funding campaign.

Grahm started the hybridizing project in 2011 at Popelouchum, his San Juan Bautista ranch, in something of a personal quest to create a truly unique American wine exhibiting the fullest possible expression of place—in this case, the limestone-rich soil of San Benito County.

But the risky experiment has gained broader urgency and relevance as the continuing drought and accelerating climate change have highlighted the need for new grape varieties that are more heat and disease resistant—and especially well-suited to our region.

“It’s just kind of a wild ride. … Read More

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