Brand new Bernardus Lodge reopens Thursday -

fa50aac4-0755-457f-807b-e1fd9c4721b8March 31, 2015 – Carmel Valley’s famed Bernardus Lodge reopens on Thursday following a four-month, multi-million dollar renovation. While the lodge isn’t allowing reporters in yet, they’ve been teasing with photos posted on social media.

“It’s a very unique look,” says general manager Sean Damery, who took on the top post just before the renovation began. “It’s definitely chic, but mixed in with more rustic elements like farm tables.”

Marinus and Wickets restaurants have merged into one open-concept restaurant called Lucia, in honor of the Santa Lucia Highlands wine appellation. Executive chef Cal Stamenov is still at the helm, but: “The new restaurant is not as high-end as Marinus was,” says Damery. “The food will be just as spectacular and the wine list just as spectacular, but a little … Read More

Matcha and more at the movies -

8281b4f0-36de-44be-9049-57dc49ffa5d3March 31, 2015 – In a very positive sign of the times, Maya Cinemas in Salinas will start offering healthy tea drinks from Gold Leaf Spice and Teas at their snack bar on Thursday. Owner Terri Madrid says executives from Maya Cinemas came into her tea bar on W. Gabilan Street about a month ago and were so impressed they decided to begin serving the teas in their theaters in Salinas, Bakersfield, Pittsburg (CA) and a brand new 16-screen complex opening on the campus of Fresno State University. Six varieties of tea will be served, both hot and cold. They include: Gyokuro matcha, spicy cinnamon, Hawaiian paradise, feeling good flower tea, vanilla black tea and white ambrosia with macchiato chocolate cream.

“Sodas and energy drinks are damaging people’s health, … Read More

EMB awarded two EDDIES -

683c88b0-59e2-4318-ad25-dc3e6112f85eMarch 24, 2015 – We’re excited and proud to report that Edible Monterey Bay magazine won two EDDY awards at the national Edible magazines conference held in New Orleans last week. We took the category of Best Special Issue for the WATER ISSUE published last summer and the category of best seasonal recipe feature for the article Shelling Beans: Do you know your hutterites from your tiger eyes by farmer Jamie Collins and Elizabeth Borelli, with photos by Michelle Magdalena and illustrations by Bambi Edlund. 

“Without water, the sustainability of food is a moot point: we are howling into the wind,” wrote judge Ethne Clarke of EMB’s special Water Issue. Clarke is the award-winning author of The Art of the Kitchen Garden and former editor of Organic Gardening magazine.

“The … Read More

1833 unveils new Jason Franey menu -

photo copy 2March 24, 2015 – You think you’ve had a busy couple of weeks? It probably doesn’t compare to what Restaurant 1833 executive chef Jason Franey and team went through to get ready for reopening to the public Monday night.

“It’s been almost surreal, all the work we did,” said Franey, who noted that not only did he and his team put together a new dinner menu, cocktail menu and wine list, the tables are also sporting new handcrafted dinnerware—and even the floors got a coat of paint. “But everything is gelling right now.” 

The restaurant has been bustling all weekend long with special preview dinners for friends, family and media, who dined on selections like warm radicchio salad with gorgonzola dressing, salmon with mussels and artichoke hearts, and tortellini filled … Read More

Pebble Beach Food & Wine is a hedonist’s dream -

1097039_860050117344624_6831131473990622056_oMarch 24, 2015 – It’s hard to believe that April 9-12 will mark the eighth year Coastal Luxury Management will dazzle us with their four day, over-the-top, food and wine extravaganza, Pebble Beach Food & Wine. This year, more than 70 chefs and close to 80 sommeliers will serve all kinds of dishes to accompany the offerings of some 200 wineries in a singular location. By sheer numbers alone, this is a hedonist’s dream.

Rubbing elbows with the likes of Daniel Boulud, Alex Guarnaschelli, Masaharu Morimoto and Jose Garces will be our own local culinary heroes. Some of them will represent new restaurants, as many of our favorite hot spots recently participated in what was perhaps the most mind-boggling chef shuffle in years. Matt Bolton, for example, is now … Read More

Top Ten Trends in Central Coast Wine -

wine-of-all-colors-1024x691March 24, 2015 – Listening to the presentations at the 21st annual Central Coast Insights wine symposium held in Paso Robles this month, I came away with these observations

1. The “Central Coast” is a HUGE wine region, encompassing everything from Livermore, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara. Encompassing six counties and over 100K acres, at least half of which is planted to Chardonnay, it’s nigh impossible to find a lot of similarity among these regions except to say they are all south of Napa. 

2. The Central Coast’s position in the wine world is perceived as one of value and quality for the dollar. The majority of wines coming from the region are in the “sweet spot” of $9 to $15 per bottle.

3. … Read More

All new restaurant 1833 reopening Monday -

1425254_665239220173752_1178456657_oMarch 17, 2015 – Monterey’s Restaurant 1833 is closed this week for a makeover and set to reopen Monday, March 23 with executive chef Jason Franey’s new menu.

“It will be like a brand-new restaurant altogether,” said David Bernahl, whose Coastal Luxury Management group owns the restaurant and hired Franey away from Canlis in Seattle last year. The CEO and and CLM managing partner wouldn’t reveal too much beyond that it would be “a new menu, new wine list, new cocktail list, everything.”

Franey, a James Beard award finalist and regular at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, is expected to put a contemporary spin on the new menu as well as show off his love of local ingredients. He has been hard at work in the kitchen this week putting … Read More

Hip SF Tapas Bar coming to Santa Cruz -
Elan and Brett Emerson of Contigo tapas bar in SF

Elan and Brett Emerson of Contigo tapas bar in SF

March 17, 2015 – Owners of the lively Contigo tapas bar and Catalan restaurant in San Francisco’s Noe Valley are moving to Santa Cruz and plan to open a similar place on Pacific Avenue before the end of the year.

The new restaurant will go into the space recently vacated by Benten Japanese restaurant at 1541 Pacific. The building’s owner confirmed he signed a lease with Contigo partners Brett and Elan Emerson earlier this month. 

“They are planning to invest $500,000 in renovations and are currently in the design phase,” said property owner John Huffman. “Benten had been there for 30 years so the equipment was really old and they need to revamp the kitchen. They also want to apply … Read More


10653575_909418562420143_2822349530962650897_nMarch 17, 2015 – If the massive white tent of Big Sur Food & Wine Festival’s Grand Public Tasting and the long, snaking line waiting to get into it in recent years looked a bit out of place in Big Sur’s pristine wilderness, the 7-year-old festival’s organizers would have to agree. And so this year, they’re ditching the Grand Tasting entirely.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said organizer Toby Rowland-Jones of the Grand Tasting. “It’s a little bit anachronistic and they’re really bloody expensive.” Rowland-Jones says out-sized wine and food events like the Grand Tasting diminish the experience of wine makers and guests alike—and they saddle promoters with high fees for permits, tent rental, insurance and other costs.

So this November 5–7, the plan is to preserve the rest of … Read More

Chef and author Deborah Madison talks veggies, meat and avocados -

deborah-madisonw.carrots-300x199March 16, 2015 – Deborah Madison is by turns funny, emphatic, and quirky, with a questioning mind and sparkling eyes. Given her long list of honors, including three James Beard Awards and two Julia Child Book of the Year Awards, she could be arrogant. But she’s modest—and nice. A keynote speaker at the 35th annual Eco-Farm Conference in Pacific Grove, she was spotted rushing to and fro across the Asilomar Conference Grounds, avidly soaking up farm-fresh knowledge just like any conference-goer.

This UCSC alum (Cowell College, 1968) began revolutionizing vegetarian cooking in 1979 when she opened San Francisco’s Greens, one of the country’s first farm-driven restaurants. Greens is associated with the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, which is celebrated for its delicious cuisine, and where Madison was head cook. She … Read More