Winemaker Dan Karlsen at the Crossroads, Again -

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 10.48.02 AMSeptember 29, 2015 – Talking with Dan Karlsen, winemaker at Talbott for nearly a decade, is often like chasing a tornado: you never know where the conversation is going and you can’t control the sudden change of direction. It’s always a whirlwind journey into his unique philosophy, spun around the often secondary edges of reality. This man has the ability to observe the world fully, while making wholesale changes to it. He has no fear: he only has backup plans.

He was just finishing up harvest last week at Talbott, where he estimated they got half the tonnage of last year. “Pundits like to say smaller yields make better wine, but just the opposite can happen. A small crop can sugar up way too quickly,” he says. “At Sleepy Hollow, … Read More

Steel Bonnet ready to start pouring -

709b4cd3-65d3-4062-b6b4-9eceac9a2418September 29, 2015 – If you lived around the border of Scotland and England during the Middle Ages, you would be well aware of the Reivers, who controlled the lawless region. Both sides of the border were victim to the corrupt Reiver militia which would charge protection money or mayle, as it was called. Local farmers and citizens paid in either white mayle, traditional coins and currency, or in black mayle, in the form of crops like wheat, corn or beer. This negative barter system is where our modern term “blackmail” derives. But for the Cramb family, who are opening up the very first brewery in Scotts Valley next week, the term has become the name of one of their favorite beers, the Black Mayle Stout, and … Read More

Truck Stop expanding with Steamer Lane Supply -

September 29, 2015 – 5b762526-3b97-4a6c-b432-e39c200fdc22It’s going to be an endless summer for Fran Grayson—owner of the locavore Truck Stop food truck. Grayson last year won permission to park the truck on Lighthouse Field near the famous Steamer Lane surf spot in Santa Cruz. Now she‘s signed the lease on a permanent concession at the state park and is gearing up to open Steamer Lane Supply, which will sell sandwiches, ice cream, drinks, surf supplies and local gift items from an 800 square foot shop, equipped with a kitchen and located next to the restrooms.

“It’s a total win-win,” says Grayson. “State Parks have been on board with this and loyal to me from day one.”

The mobile Truck Stop will remain parked at the field, dishing up fish … Read More

Restaurants cook up benefits for fire fighters and victims -

signpicIf the wildfires and kitchen fires that have swept our area recently have made you especially grateful for our firefighters and particularly concerned about fire victims, there are two benefits you may want to attend this week. At 5pm tonight, Wednesday September 23rd at Cachagua General Store, chef Michael Jones will serve up “killer local salmon, good mesquite grilled tritip, acres of local veggies and salads,” benefiting local fire victims, he announced on Facebook last night. (Jones also gave all his receipts from the brunch this past Sunday to the local Cachagua volunteer fire fighters.) And on Tomorrow, Thursday September 24th at 6pm, Basil Seasonal Dining’s chefSoerke Peters will hold a dinner to thank local firefighters and celebrate the restaurant’s quick reopening after a … Read More

Tassajara Fire: Local wineries spared, join the fire-fighting and relief effort -


Tassajara fire as seen from the chenin blanc vineyard at Heller Organic Vineyards. Photo by Rich Tanguay.

September 22, 2015—The Tassjara blaze, as of this posting 60% contained, burned nearly 1100 acres and destroyed 11 homes and 7 outbuildings along this steep canyon-carved landscape. An intense, devastating firestorm incinerated leaves without leaving a mark on tree trunks as it raced hungrily across the drought-ravaged, remote area home to several prominent vineyards.

Fortunately, none of them, including Bernardus, Boekenoogen, Chesebro, Galante, Georis, Heller, Joullian, Rombi and Silvestri, reported damage or impact from the flames or smoke, although a few grapes are still left hanging and could certainly face the prospect of smoke taint. But fortuitously, most vineyards in the region have already been harvested.

The blaze showcased the cooperative nature of … Read More

Find your creative voice, pie included -


Imagine. You are the maker of artisan cheese. It’s smooth, rather creamy. Despite its success, you want to brainstorm about how to make the cheese experience more meaningful, memorable, even better. You could convene a gathering of dairy farmers and other cheese mavens. Or you could bring in people involved in other aspects of the dining business, who have the same goals but do not compete with your cheese—say, a lighting company, dining table designer, ceramic plate maker, vintner, chef—just to see what they might contribute to the aesthetic.

This is just the sort of interdisciplinary creative activity that Carmel’s Center for Photographic Art (CfPA) hopes to inspire with its PIE Labs, a creativity retreat to be held for the second year November 6–8 at the Sunset Center in Carmel. Read More

Get your ticket while they last for the Sept. 22 Edible Party! -

Mike Fisher of Fisher's Catering.

Mike Fisher of Fisher’s Catering.

Edible Monterey Bay and the San Benito Olive Festival invite you to a free new issue release party at the stunning Pietra Santa Winery in Hollister from 5–8pm on Tuesday, September 22.

Organizers of the San Benito Olive Festival have lined up renowned Fisher’s Catering of Hollister to provide complimentary olive-inspired small bites, and San Benito Bene will serve ice cream treats infused with artisanal olive oils.

Pietra Santa will pour its delicious wines at a cash bar and we will provide the new issue of Edible Monterey Bay for you to take home. Space is limited, so we recommend that you RSVP here before it fills up. Guests who RSVP in advance will be entered to win free prizes.

If you haven’t had … Read More


NestOfJewelsIn spring, when tomato-maniacs are deciding which varieties to squish into their home gardens, there are more tomato events—talks, workshops, sales, etc.—than you can shake a stick at. Less so in fall. Yet now, when the harvest is at its peak, we have the opportunity to actually taste what we might want to grow next year. After all—if not now, when?

With this in mind, Slow Food Santa Cruz and The Curated Feast have teamed up with Birdsong Orchards, a certified organic farm near Watsonville, to host a tomato tasting party in which Birdsong farmer Nadine Schaeffer will showcase 40 of her favorite varieties out of the 75 she is growing this year. (See below for the mind-boggling complete list.) They have novel and intriguing names like Ananas Noir, … Read More

Chef Cesario Ruiz of My Mom’s Mole Unlocks the Sauce’s Mysteries -

Cesario Ruiz demonstrates the art of making mole. Photo courtesy of My Mom's Mole.

Cesario Ruiz demonstrates the art of making mole. Photo courtesy of My Mom’s Mole.

This Saturday, Friends of Santa Cruz Parks—a not-for-profit organization devoted to sustaining local state parks and beaches—hosts its third annual Mole & Mariachi Festival in downtown Santa Cruz. Six competitors will prepare their versions of mole, vying for two honors: People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice. Mole, for those unfamiliar, is “like a Mexican curry,” explains Cesario Ruiz, the chef behind My Mom’s Mole and one of the festival’s contestants.

Mole, pronounced MOH-lay, is a general designation for a number of sauces used in Mexican cuisine. In the Aztec language Nahuatl, mōlli simply means “sauce.”

“Every region, and really every cook, has its own version,” says Ruiz. “It’s just a blend of spices and different ingredients.”

Mole … Read More

The Lunchroom Renaissance -

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 4.18.46 PM September 8, 2015 – The beginning of the school year, at least in my household, launches what I, only partially in jest, call ‘The Lunchbox Wars.” Through the years, my boys and I have battled about their reusable containers—some were difficult for little hands to open, some leaked like crazy, and some were banned after ‘the glass incident’ in the cafeteria; now only plastic containers are allowed at our school. We argued about whether or not curry egg salad would get them teased at the lunch table.

School lunches, that is to say cafeteria lunches,  were mostly off the table because the food did not meet my requirements for quality and choices. That is changing. School lunches are enjoying a renaissance thanks to new programs being implemented in local districts … Read More