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  • Union Foodie Truck Launches Next Week

    August 14, 2018 - Make way for a new food truck rolling out on the streets of Santa Cruz next week. With an Asian-Mexican fusion menu, Union Foodie Truck is a dream-come-true for owner Rachel Thompson—a former culinary school instructor and longtime chef at The Buttery café. 

    "Growing up, my family was all about food," Thompson says. "It is a family of artists, but it took me awhile to realize that food is my form of self-expression." She trained in the Cabrillo Culinary Arts program and ended up opening the Corner Café at The Buttery, designing the menu and putting in 15-hour days in the kitchen.

    Later she worked for the Professional Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary ... Read More

  • Santa Cruz Church to Serve Pints With a Purpose

    August 14, 2018 - It’s no accident that the Bible is loaded with references to food, drink and community. Caring for people is about feeding bodies as well as souls. Now a local church is adding another dimension to this idea—by building a restaurant and brewery in downtown Santa Cruz where Sunday services will also be offered.

    Leaders of the progressive Greater Purpose Community Church have leased the huge space that previously housed iconic Logos bookstore on Pacific Avenue and are planning the remodel, with a hoped-for opening in summer or fall of 2019.

    Envisioned is a full restaurant on the street level and a brewery in the basement, going by the name Greater Purpose Brewing Company.

    “I hope it totally changes ... Read More

  • Chef Tom McNary to head Soif kitchen

    August 7, 2018 - Chef Tom McNary—owner of Carried Away caterers in Aptos—has been tapped to helm the kitchen at Soif restaurant in Santa Cruz.

    “The choice to bring on Tom as our chef reflects what is most important to me,” says owner Patrice Boyle. “We have one of—if not the—best farmers market in the country. Tom has strong relationships and a commitment to many of these growers whom he sourced from at Carried Away over the past two decades.”

    Before opening the Aptos business in 1989, McNary cooked at the legendary Chez Panisse. 

    “I have known Patrice for many years and we have talked about working together for a long time,” says McNary. “I love her vision ... Read More

  • Comanche Cellars: Let the Dog and Pony Show Begin!

    August 7, 2018 - It’s the age-old story of a boy and his horse—and his dog, of course. When winemaker Michael Simons was just a kid, he had a paper route in the outskirts of Santa Barbara. Instead of riding a bicycle, he rode his horse, Comanche. The two had many fine times together, even enjoying success on the rodeo circuit. But instead of the cowboy life, Simons pursued a career as a contractor instead. It suits him, as he not only has an eye for design and detail, he also has magnificent taste. Even though he was already busier than a one-armed paperhanger, he fell in love with wine and had to make some for himself.

    Well, one batch ... Read More

  • Lonely Mountain Farm Inspires SF Chef and Team

    August 7, 2018 - Chef Evan Gotanda doesn’t do anything halfway, especially when it comes to the ingredients he selects for his menus. Gotanda, chef de cuisine for hip San Francisco restaurant Salt House, believes in seeing where his food comes from and that’s why he brought his crew out to Lonely Mountain Farm in Corralitos.

    Lonely Mountain—owned and farmed by Kenny and Molly Baker—supplies a cornucopia of organic herbs and vegetables to Salt House during the summer, and Gotanda thinks it’s vital for his cooks and other co-workers to know where their produce comes from. So the group of 20- and 30-something city kids tromped around the 12-acre farm on Sunday, biting into sun-warmed produce picked fresh in ... Read More

  • Staff of Life to Open Natural Food Store in Watsonville

    July 28, 2018 - Social media was buzzing after a surprise announcement that Staff of Life Market—a Santa Cruz favorite for almost 50 years—is inking a deal to open a second store in Watsonville. Residents are already applauding, saying that a store dedicated to natural and organic foods has long been needed there.

    Watsonville mayor pro tem Jimmy Dutra revealed on his Facebook page last week that the market will take over a space in the East Lake Village shopping center, where SuperMax Discount Foods closed in May.

    Staff of Life co-owner Richard Josephson confirmed this week that the store was going forward, and anticipated signing a lease agreement in the next week or two with Oaktree Property Co., ... Read More

  • Earthbound Hiring for Farmstand Reopening

    July 24, 2018 - Earthbound Farm’s Farm Stand is looking to fill a dozen positions ahead of its much-awaited reopening in August.

    Among the jobs listed on Earthbound’s career page are one full-time and four part-time Baritsa/clerks, a full-time senior retail store clerk/cashier and a full-time lead café staffer. For its certified organic kitchen, the Farm Stand is also hiring a lead cook and two part-time cooks. And for the working farm that surrounds the Farm Stand, Earthbound is hiring two part-time farm laborers.

    First opened 25 years ago, the Farm Stand and it’s kitchen—the only certified organic kitchen in the surrounding area—both closed on January 7thso Earthbound could begin work on a much-need replacement of its foundation.

    Earthbound ... Read More

  • Artisanal Charcuterie and BBQ Coming to Monterey

    July 24, 2018 - The PigWizard has found a place to work his magic. Finally.

    After all sorts of plot twists over the course of a decade and a half—including teaching at the now-departed Monterey Culinary School, endless pig roasts, wild private parties, and a food-truck misadventure-of-sorts that involved driving from the Northwest with a hole in the floor of the vehicle—Jonathan Roberts has a place to call his own.

    He now pockets the keys to one of my favorite under-the-radar spots in the area at 32 Cannery Row. It was once home to the former Bayside Cafe (which morphed into Bon Ton L’Roy’s Lighthouse Smokehouse a half mile away), and then the more fleeting ... Read More

  • Captain + Stoker Reopens Under New Ownership

    July 18, 2018 - Earlier this month—when the bottom fell out of a deal for Cat & Cloud to acquire Captain + Stokerand Captain + Stoker suddenly closed—co-managers Tyler Ellis and his fiance Kelsea Richmond were too rocked by the news to talk about it right away.

    “Not right now,” Ellis wrote via email. “It happened so fast. I’m pretty emotional. Lemme slow down.”

    After they had some time to process, Monterey transplants Ellis and Richmond expressed awe at how much they clicked with their newfound coffee-and-community existence.

    “I am simply going to miss working at Captain + Stoker,” Ellis said. “I was connected with so many customers, our employees, everyone involved. I was myself every day, and I’ve never ... Read More

  • Full Highway 1 Reopens Wednesday

    July 17, 2018 - Great news for hospitality businesses on the Monterey Peninsula and in Big Sur, Highway 1 will reopen tomorrow at 10am at Mud Creek allowing travelers to drive the full length of the iconic highway in both directions for the first time in nearly two years.

    Trouble along Highway 1 began with road closures due to the Soberanes Fire in 2016, which was followed by winter mudslides and the failure of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in 2017. Then an entire mountainside at Mud Creek, near Gorda, gave way in May of last year sending 8 million cubic feet of earth into the surf below. 

    The Mud Creek slide required a new 1/4 mile stretch of roadway to be built on ... Read More

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