February 13, 2018 - An exciting lineup of star chefs and culinary events has just been announced for the 11th annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival happening April 5-8. Among the headliners is Jeremiah Tower, a legendary chef from Chez Panisse, Stars and Tavern on the Green, and subject of the documentary Last of the Great Magnificents. Also heading to Pebble Beach are French culinary master Daniel Boulud, Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. Kyle Connaughton of Single Thread Farms and Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's Pacific Rim Kitchen.
A total of 100 chefs and 250 wineries are taking part in this year's festivities, putting on an array of 47 seminars, cooking demos, gourmet meals and the popular Lexus ... Read More
February 13, 2018 - Just days after C.E.O. Wendy Collie resigned and plans to open a New Leaf store in Carmel were scrapped, the owner of the Felton and Boulder Creek markets says he is exiting the New Leaf/New Seasons group and re-branding his stores as Wild Roots Markets.
"It was a tough decision," says owner Bob Locatelli, "We've had a great run with New Leaf for 24 plus years, but just decided to go off in a new direction. It got to the point where we wanted to focus more on our local community here in the San Lorenzo Valley." He says they have been considering the move for nearly two years, as the formerly small Santa Cruz-based ... Read More
February 6, 2018 - Portland-based New Seasons Market—parent company of New Leaf Community Markets in Santa Cruz—is shifting direction and C.E.O. Wendy Collie has stepped down.
The natural foods chain had been in a phase of rapid expansion, but announced today that a new store in Sunnyvale would close at the end of February and stores planned for Carmel, San Francisco and Emeryville would not be built. The company said, however, the Aptos New Leaf Market set to open this fall would go ahead as planned.
Collie described the shift in strategy as getting back to the roots of the company. “Today’s disruptive retail landscape has inspired many companies such as ours to reevaluate their organizational structure and strategy. ... Read More
February 6, 2018 - Escaping to the wilds of Mendocino is one of the greatly pleasurable side trips long associated with my obsession with Anderson Valley wines. When you stay at The Little River Inn, the Albion River Inn or The Brewery Gulch Inn, you are perfectly situated to take advantage of one of the true dining gems of the Mendocino coast, Wild Fish. Later this spring, if all goes well, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the same wonderful local, organic cuisine at a second location of Wild Fish in Pacific Grove.
In an announcement made to friends and followers by email, Wild Fish owners Liz and Kelvin Jacobs said the perfect opportunity to ... Read More
February 6, 2018 - The popular Brew Cruz bus in Santa Cruz has a brand new little brother, named Slow Boy. Owner Annie Pautsch says she added the second vehicle to handle public tours because the original bus was in constant demand for private parties. Slow Boy is a vintage 1964 VW bus, restored to perfect condition with hardwood floors and custom seating.
Beginning Saturday, February 17 it will operate every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4pm leaving from the Dream Inn and visiting west side breweries: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Humble Sea Brewing Company, Shanty Shack Brewing and Santa Cruz AleWorks. The ticket cost is $45 per person and includes a discount on beer at ... Read More
January 30, 2018 - Just shy of nine months in business Oasis Tasting Room and Kitchen in Santa Cruz has closed and the two men behind it—Alec Stefansky of Uncommon Brewers and Chris LaVeque of El Salchichero—are ending their partnership.
"Alec and I worked really hard to get that place up and running and this is really hard to see," says LaVeque. "We just didn't get enough butts in seats." Meanwhile, Hoffman's restaurant on Pacific Avenue has lost its lease and served its last meal yesterday.
LaVeque says he has moved his meats out of the curing room at Oasis and will concentrate on his successful butcher shop at the Swift St. complex, while Stefansky says he hopes ... Read More
January 30, 2018 - Sometimes the right one does come along. For long-time Salinas farmer Bill Massa, the golden opportunity to get into the wine business that his wife Laurie had been talking about came when the Heller Estate property in Cachagua came on the market after both the owners passed away late last year.
The sale included the entire Cachagua estate, the vineyards, the winery, the tasting room and the entire wine inventory. It’s not clear exactly how many cases are involved or how many barrels exist of the 2017 vintage, but a full assessment of the cellar will take place later this week.
Says Massa, “I’m pretty happy with it. I’m going to keep it all organic and just ... Read More
January 23, 2018 - A galaxy of star chefs and sizzling events are coming to Carmel for the 5th anuual GourmetFest on March 15-18. Joshua Skenes of Saison—one of the youngest chefs to be awarded 3 Michelin stars—and Kyle Connaughton of the year-old Single Thread Farms and Restaurant are two of the 20 chefs taking part.
"I had a chance to visit Single Thread and Kyle is just an incredible visionary when it comes to food and using produce from the garden," says organizer David Fink.
The beauty of GourmetFest is that you can meet and sample food from the world's greatest chefs in intimate settings without waiting months or even years for a reservation at their renowned ... Read More
January 23, 2018 - The annual Good Food Awards ceremony, celebrating producers of tasty, authentic and socially responsible products, took place Friday night at the monumental SF War Memorial building. Always an event with inspired, funny and heartfelt speakers, this year did not disappoint.
Out of 2,057 entries from more than 30 states, 199 winning artisans were honored and 58% of the finalists had never won before. As is the custom, Alice Waters opened up the show by introducing the 2018 keynote speaker, cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey. She took the prize for best quote of the night with her closing remarks, “A great hooray for good food, for good food all over the world...and I would also like to ... Read More
January 16, 2018 - An exciting new food shop dedicated to gut health is taking shape on Locust Street in Santa Cruz. "We may be the most gut-friendly store on the planet," says owner Mark Kaltenbacher, who also owns Central Coast Juicery in Pacific Grove.
The as-yet-unnamed shop at 111 Locust St. has just received Health Department certification for its all-raw, organic kitchen and is opening sporadically and training staff as it begins stocking shelves with foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics.
Once it fully opens in mid-February, the shop will stock grab and go items that promote gut health, such as yogurts, vegan pizzas, falafels, veggie burgers, meal bars and salads with prebiotic dressings and kraut crackers, ... Read More