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  • Virtual Farm Stand moves organic produce on Facebook

    376eaa91-873d-409b-a913-2ad96893ccf3February 21, 2017 - With the twin goals of selling off excess produce and helping fellow farmers,  Serendipity Farms' founder Jamie Collins is rolling out a brand new kind of farm-to-table distribution system that she calls the Virtual Farm Stand.

    "It started because the farmers markets have been kind of slow this winter due to the rains," says Collins. "One day I climbed up on a box and took a photo of all the beautiful produce that was left over and posted it on Facebook.It sold within a day."

    Interest in Seredipity's Virtual Farm Stand has already topped 400 members on Facebook and Collins has set pick-up points in Carmel Valley, Aromas and Santa Cruz.

    Since beginning the project as an experiment ... Read More

  • Greening the Restaurant Industry

    1924046_86106990310_8178_nFebruary 21, 2017 - Restaurant industry folks gathered at Montrio Bistro last week to hear chef Soerke Peters—president of the American Culinary Federation Monterey Bay Chapter—answer the question: “Why green your restaurant?”

    Eager to be privy to the discussion were chefs from local restaurants, chefs that head up food services at regional hospitals, vineyard owners, food writers, food purveyors, food producers, and even staff members from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. Chef Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro, the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) and Wrath Wines were also involved in the event.

    Chef Peters led the way locally by making Basil Seasonal Dining, in Carmel, the Monterey Bay area's first certified green restaurant. While he acknowledged that becoming a certified green restaurant takes ... Read More

  • Artisanal Butcher Shop Coming to Seaside

    IMG_3121February 14, 2017 - The Monterey Peninsula will soon have its own modern, artisanal butcher shop.

    Partners Jason Balestrieri and Kevin Hincks—who met when they were both chefs at Cantinetta Luca in Carmel—are aiming to open a full-service, whole-animal butcher and housemade charcuterie emporium called the Meatery in June or July.

    “We’re going for the classic butcher feel and we want it to be more customer oriented than anything else around here,” Hincks says. “One of us will always be here to greet the customers.”

    The partners are completely renovating the space the business will occupy at 1534 Fremont Ave. near Broadway in Seaside.

    Aside from the attentive service, the other classic touches the partners have planned for the massive, 2,200 foot space include ... Read More

  • Outlook for Monterey Wines and 12 to Try Now

    a6365ebe-c398-4058-a6de-794cae9ea9ebFebruary 14, 2017 - Yes, we have a few more weeks of winter ahead, but when you live in the Monterey Bay are, you’re surrounded by an endless season of things that bloom. And you’re surrounded by wine—that just keeps getting better. 

    Having the opportunity to taste a variety of the latest wine releases from the local vintners at a trade tasting is always a treat. It’s made all the more intriguing when you can actually talk to the winemakers about what they’re doing, what they’re excited about and what they’re planning for the future.

    For example, it was awesome to see the wines from Ian and Heather Brand taking a new kind of shape, with the rollout of the I. Brand ... Read More

  • Floods Devastate Organic Farms

    9a6ac09d-6184-4561-9497-edb7273f5922February 14, 2017 - Heavy rain, wind and flash flooding has severely damaged several organic farms in Hollister and is causing trouble for farmers throughout the Monterey Bay area.

    Heirloom Organic Gardens, Catalán Family Farms and California Kurobuta—all located near Pacheco Creek—are among the hardest hit.

    “There was water 1,000 feet wide covering our farm in January and then 800 feet wide again last week,” says Jack Kimmich of California Kurobuta—a pig farm profiled in the winter issue of EMB. Click here for story.

    “About 70% of our fencing and 125 tons of feed and feed troughs were carried away by the floods,” he said of the first round in January. “The funny thing is lots of pigs went to high ... Read More

  • Verve Coffee Opens Monday in San Francisco

    0971bd06-8bea-4d58-9e45-23057c71a46bFebruary 7, 2017 - Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters is opening its first shop in San Francisco on Monday—in a flatiron building on the corner of Market and Church streets.

    "Considering we almost opened Verve in San Francisco to begin with, this project is one that we have been anticipating for quite some time," said co-founder Colby Barr. "We couldn't be more excited to finally have the opportunity to serve the SF community firsthand."

    This is the ninth outlet for Verve, which has four shops in Santa Cruz, three in Los Angeles and one in Toyko. 

    The 1,200 square foot café features a 4-group Kees van der Westen espresso machine with custom panels designed by artist Jeremiah Kille. The Simonelli ... Read More

  • Chef Todd Fisher Moves to Folktale Winery

    bc544618-c182-41c3-adaf-38bcbe8e05ee-1January 31, 2017 - Local celebrity chef Todd Fisher—known for his over-the-top dishes and his 2013 reality TV show The United States of Bacon— is leaving Tarpy's Roadhouse and heading to Folktale Winery in Carmel Valley as vice president of culinary operations.

    His new gig involves expanding the wine-pairing menu, training staff and literally getting his hands dirty in a soon-to-be-planted 2.5-acre organic kitchen garden.

    “I think the things they are doing out there are brilliant and exciting and I’m just thrilled to be part of it. I couldn’t be happier,” says Fisher.

    His new role will include more management and mentoring than in the past. “I’m not tired of being a chef. It’s a quality of life shift,” ... Read More

  • Peter Figge To Open Carmel Valley Wine Tasting Room

    peter-figge-300x300January 24, 2017 - It has been a busy year for Peter Figge—expanding his custom crush business, making his own 2,400 cases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and also making wine for Carmel Valley Ranch’s own brand called “Swing.” He installed their estate vineyard, all planted to Pinot Noir, in 2010.

    He’s had a very unique arrangement in Carmel for several years at the Winfield Art Gallery on Dolores and 7th, where he’s been pouring Figge Cellars wines for a few years, but he’s had a hankering for Carmel Valley for awhile. When he heard Joyce was moving to expanded new digs in the Village, he got to thinking it might seriously be time to make a move. Figge ... Read More

  • Foragers Festival Names Fungus Face Off Winners

    db1cd4ca-29b9-4dda-83e9-d58bbc106cb1January 17, 2017 - Five types of wild mushrooms, five varieties of chiles and a shoulder of wild boar went into chef Matt Glazer's delicious Wild Boar Chili, which took top honors for best use of foraged ingredients at the annual Big Sur Foragers Festival on Saturday.

    Chef Todd Fisher of Tarpy's Roadhouse took "Best of Show" for his Mushroom Upside Down Steak, which combined slices of perfectly grilled New York Steak over grilled chanterelle, shitake oyster and white mushrooms with cognac demi-glace and whipped bone marrow. 

    In the dessert category, chef Paul Corsentino and pastry chef Saul Tejeda on Ventana Inn took the prize for their Candy Cap Chocolate Mousse Cake, filled with chanterelle creme anglaise and topped ... Read More

  • Soif Wine Bar Debuts Classy Cocktail Program

    1017a656-8cc3-47b3-884c-299fb9be01fdJanuary 17, 2017 - “The Bitter Liberal” is not just an apt political descriptor for most of us right now, it’s also the name of drink you can order on the new bar menu at Soif Restaurant and Wine Bar in downtown Santa Cruz. After securing a liquor license last summer, Soif has been quietly introducing an eclectic cocktail menu for patrons who frequent the wine-centric restaurant. Owner Patrice Boyle, who just celebrated Soif’s milestone 10th anniversary, says, “We are rolling out the cocktail program and I feel as though we are finally solid on that front.”

    “Solid” was certainly my impression when I first visited the bar and ordered something other than a unique grape varietal, admiring the careful stirring, ... Read More

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