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Photography and illustrations by Larry Gerbrandt, Margaux Gibbons, George Cwirko Godycki, Michelle Magdalena, Camilla M. Mann,  Amanda Pargh and Ken Payton.

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  • Mundaka Owner Reinventing Restaurant with Baja Theme

    It’s an old truism that popular restaurants tend to stick with the formula that made them famous. But then Gabe Georis has never followed the norm.
    And so it was recently when he announced the start of something completely different for Mundaka, the beloved Spanish-style tapas restaurant in Carmel that he started in 2009 with chef Brandon Miller.
    “I’m used to people telling me that I’m crazy,” says Georis with a laugh, adding that after eight years, “It’s time to change things up.”
    Georis founded Mundaka after traveling and surfing in Spain, but now that he has small children, he says it’s tougher to visit for inspiration. Plus, he points out, change is good: “I had to do something ... Read More

  • Sabrine Rodems on Exhibit: Scratch Coming to Carmel

    Sabrine Rodems is a well-known name to wine club members at Wrath: the winemaker has been the tour de force in the cellar and in the vineyards since what used to be San Saba was reborn and renamed. Owner Michael Thomas has kept Rodems plenty busy with his many often unconventional winemaking ideas, and has given her the latitude to chase different styles, like unoaked Pinot and fiercely oaked Sauvignon Blanc.

    When they ripped out a block of underperforming Muscat (I’m still crying over that), Michael, an archeologist, decided to plant Falanghina, an ancient Roman grape that was vinified in amphora. So, Rodems acquired a modern day replica of the ancient clay vessel from Italy (called a dolio) ... Read More

  • South of the Bridge, Big Sur Watches and Waits

    Times have been tough before in Big Sur, but never quite like this. Nature unleashed fury in the form of fire, then water, to devastating effect, and now residents are trying to figure out how to live life in a community cut off from almost everywhere else.

    Although CalTrans is promising a new Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge by September, some residents are doubtful that it will happen that fast. Clearing of some slides on Highway 1 last week has allowed access to businesses such as Big Sur River Inn, the Roadhouse, and Fernwood on the northern side of Big Sur, but the ones south of the bridge are continuing to watch and wait.

    The highway—pretty much the lifeline to everything—is the key to the tourism that typically ... Read More

  • Moth-Style Radio Launching at CV’s Lokal this Thursday

    After trying out the concept on a few friends last week over beef bourguignon, Lokal Restaurant chef/owner Brendan Jones will hold a soft launch this Thursday of his new weekly Moth-style story-telling night.lokal

    For $25, attendees will receive a choice of soup or salad and a few entrees, including a vegetarian option, as well as the story telling that follows.

    Dinner will begin at 6pm and the story telling at 7pm. The chance to tell your story is open to all, open-mic style, but Jones is asking for a limit of six to seven minutes per story, Moth-style.

    Jones is calling his program Cokoon Radio and once it takes off, he hopes it will become an official affiliate of the cult ... Read More

  • Assembly Debuts Trendy Craft Cocktails

    IMG_5078March 21, 2017 - Assembly Restaurant in Santa Cruz is all about showcasing local purveyors and that extends to the show-stopping new craft cocktail program it has been rolling out over the past few weeks.

    “The fun thing about our skill set—like in the kitchen—it’s seasonal and flexible according to what purveyors have to offer,” says chef Kendra Baker, co-founder of Assembly, the Picnic Basket and the Penny Ice Creamery. “We’re able to shift and move in much the same way as we do in the kitchen.”

    The afternoon I was there, the copper-top bar was piled with fresh Meyer lemons grown by Daniel Paduano at Abounding Harvest Farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Bar manager Zane Griffin was shaking ... Read More

  • Gourmetfest Opens Thursday With Big Charity Goal

    54463de2-1fc1-455a-85a2-37e97012225aMarch 14, 2017 - How do you get some of the world’s best known chefs to come to Carmel for the Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest 2017? Founder David Fink makes it sound simple: “I invite all the top chefs,” he says, some whom he’s known for decades and others that he’s never even met.

    Of course Fink is delighted to have old friends like Daniel Boulud and Michael Tusk on board, but he’s equally jazzed about having Gabriel Kreuther (“I’ve never met him, but he’s a rock star in New York”) and Shinichiro Tagaki (“my brand-new friend from Japan”). They’re part of the more than 18 stellar chefs that will create culinary history this Thursday through Sunday at GourmetFest’s unforgettable ... Read More

  • Humble Sea Brewing Set to Open This Weekend

    296321c1-3218-4ce5-b8d8-be086db32204March 14, 2017 - In March of 2015, three young guys from the Santa Cruz Mountains boldly declared in a blog post that—with no money in their pockets—they were going to start a craft brewery. They’ve been sprinting to their goal ever since, and now, exactly two years later, the beer-lovers at Humble Sea Brewing Co. are ready to open their Westside taproom to the public.

    Pending final inspections over the next couple of days, doors will be open by the end of the week. Make sure to check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or their website for the official greenlight announcement. Once opened, you’ll be able to stop in for a beer and a bite Wed-Sun, 2-9pm. A ... Read More

  • Join Us for Release Parties in Capitola and Carmel

    Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 11.25.46 AMMarch 8, 2017 - Please join us for the spring issue release parties on March 20 in Capitola and March 23 in Carmel.

    The Capitola party takes place at East End Gastropub from 5 to 8pm. Chef Geoff Hargrave will prepare some tasty appetizers, with local wines and beers available for purchase. Come kick off the week with a party and mingle with the EMB community. RSVP for Capitola release party here.

    A few days later, the party moves to Carmel Crossroads shopping center, where both the Morgan Winery and the McIntyre Vineyards tasting rooms are welcoming us from 6 to 8pm with small bites from Crossroads ... Read More

  • Big Sur Bakery Popping Over to Carmel

    91b00a48-d37d-4da0-af76-224af4ddb80cMarch 7, 2017 - "It's the only time I've baked this far north on the coast," says chef Michelle Rizzolo, co-founder of the iconic Big Sur Bakery. Rizzolo and Matt Somerville of BSB along with pastry chef Ben Spungin of Post Ranch Inn are holding a Pop Over (not a pop up) at Salumeria Luca in Carmel on Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12, to benefit Big Sur residents affected by recent storms.

    Both Post Ranch and Big Sur Bakery are currently closed due to the impassable Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge. The Pop Over benefit starts at 10am and features BSB pastries, and chocolates and ice creams by Spungin.

    Rizzolo says she is making BSB's famous ... Read More

  • Moth Radio Coming to Lokal Restaurant in CV

    7a9974dd7701548be21b9da565cfbf60March 7, 2017 - Beginning this month, Thursday nights will be storytime at Lokal Restaurant in Carmel Valley. Chef/owner Brendan Jones is starting a Moth Radio-style evening of storytelling with the aim of eventually becoming an official affiliate of the hit public radio show.

    "I'm a fan of Moth Radio and I think it will get some people who don't usually go out to dinner to come out and listen or tell stories," says Jones. The stories will be preceded by a low-cost fixed-price dinner.

    Jones has been in touch with public radio to get pointers on how to organize the evening. "They said to limit each story to six or seven minutes and once we get started ... Read More

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