• Cachagua General Store Closes, But Party Goes On

    screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-5-58-17-pmOctober 18, 2016 - Beginning next Monday October 24, the beloved Cachagua General Store will move its legendary Monday night dinners from deep in upper Carmel Valley to Lokal Restaurant in Carmel Valley Village.

    “It won’t be the Cachagua store and it won’t be Lokal and we’re completely comfortable with the schizophrenia of that,” said Michael Jones, the operator of both Cachagua’s actual general store and its unique weekly culinary extravaganzas at the same location. “Basically we’re doing a scheduled popup every Monday.”

    “There will still be two distinct restaurants as we have two different philosophies,” Jones elaborated, referring to his son Brendan, who has won acclaim for his own restaurant, Lokal, modestly adding, “Brendan’s more visual, technical and creative. ... Read More

  • New Wine Complex Coming to Carmel Valley

    unknownOctober 18, 2016 - For some time, Russell Joyce had been looking for a tasting room setup with a bit more elbow room and sufficient outdoor space to create a true wine destination. He loved the vibe of Walter Georis' place near Talbott’s tasting room; such a sweet place to take in the profound natural beauty of Carmel Valley.

    Joyce dreamed of having a fountain, a bocce court, plentiful seating and a fire pit: all the elements that make a place conducive to events. At the same time, his wife Charlotte and her sister Rachel Beshoff, dreamed of having a cool wine bar where guests could hang out when the Carmel Valley tasting rooms closed and enjoy some ... Read More

  • Slow Food Salone del Gusto Inspires EMB Writer

    img_0015October 18, 2016 - Imagine tents stretched out in every direction as far as the eye can see—tents bursting with every delectable delight imaginable, from every region of Italy: honey, pesto, olive oil, balsamic, cured meats, cheeses, truffles, arancini, gianduia, cannoli, gelato… is your mouth watering yet? We haven’t even gotten to the international sections: Africa, Asia and Oceania, the Americas, and Europe. But I could have spent an entire day just exploring the Piedmont region’s stands. In fact, I probably would have if there weren’t also mind-blowing conferences and forums taking place at the same time.

    I just returned from the gastronomic experience of a lifetime, an event called Terra Madre Salone del Gusto that takes place ... Read More

  • Revival counting down to opening

    cugbywiwiaaof_g-jpg-largeOctober 11, 2016 - Pending final inspections, Revival Ice + Cream is set to open on Alvarado St. in Monterey early next week.

    Today owner/chef Ron Mendoza was mixing up a batch of one of 12 opening day flavors. It's called Beeswax and is made starting with a big chunk of honeycomb from the Carmel Honey Company. "It has a rich, buttery flavor from the honey and then I add bee pollen and honeycomb candy for crunch," he says.

    In a nod to the season, he's also debuting with a flavor called Sweet Potato with burnt marshmallows, and gingerbread crumb. The artisan, gourmet ice creamery is a first for Monterey.

    "I have 100 different flavors of ice cream that I've been ... Read More

  • Wine Geeks Unite Under New Management of SC Mtns Club

    erickennedyOctober 11, 2016 - When Eric Kennedy first received a gift membership to the Wine Club of the Santa Cruz Mountains a few years back, he thought, “Oh cool! It’s going to be like a book club where I’ll get to meet and taste wines together with like-minded wine lovers and discuss them.” Well, it didn’t turn out quite as he envisioned, but he certainly did enjoy the wines, all of which are selections from local wineries, some with no tasting rooms.

    Kennedy liked the wine club concept so much he recently purchased it from Shannon Torres, who had previously managed it after buying it from the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.

    Kennedy—who grew up in Boulder Creek and ... Read More

  • Birichino to open Santa Cruz tasting room

    3b41adb5-c538-4b76-8f2e-b9d3ca36a5c1October 4, 2016 - With the harvest season almost over, winemakers Alex Krause and John Locke are preparing to open the first tasting room for their Birichino wines. To be located on Church St. in downtown Santa Cruz, the 1,200 sq ft building will house both tasting room and business offices for the 8-year-old label.

    "We needed a place to meet our customers and distributors, it was the missing element," says Locke. They have been running the business out of their homes and make most of their wine at Ian Brand's custom crush facility in Salinas.

    "There will be no barrels and no plastic grape clusters," he promised. "It will have a pretty cool atmosphere."

    Architect John McKelvey is designing ... Read More

  • Ten farms open gates for self-guided Corralitos tour

    roosts1October 4, 2016 - You might want to reconsider plans to leave town this Columbus Day weekend and instead stick around for the third annual Corralitos Open Farm Tour on Sunday, October 9th. With a goal of celebrating our rich local agricultural heritage and educating the public about sustainable farming, the Open Farm Tour zeros in on the nine square miles of Corralitos as an epicenter for food and farming.

    Penny Ellis, who co-founded the tour in 2014, collaborates with the Live Oak Grange to offer this unique and free opportunity to all of us. She says, “Basically the tours are all about connecting community with the family-owned farms that are utilizing ... Read More

  • Assembly Chef Moves on to Camino

    unknownSeptember 27, 2016 - After more than two years at the helm of Assembly in Santa Cruz, opening chef Carlo Espinas has moved on to work at Oakland's much-lauded Camino Restaurant—a temple of wood-fired grilling.

    "It was a slow transition, he gave us four months notice and phased out over the summer," says Zach Davis, who owns the downtown eatery, the Penny Ice Creamery and the Picnic Basket with business partner Kendra Baker.

    Davis says sous chef Trent Lindgren has stepped up to fill vacancy together with GM Trace Barnes, who has kitchen management experience. Baker—a former pastry chef at Manresa—is also playing a bigger role in menu planning and development. 

    "There's a lot of collaboration ... Read More

  • Big Sur Food & Wine Returns

    674c53f7-23e7-48dd-bce0-b657061916d4September 20, 2016 - After a one-year hiatus, due to fears of a monster el niño season, get ready for some serious hiking with stemware. Big Sur Food & Wine is back from November 3-5 and tickets went on sale Sunday.

    It was a little iffy again this year due to the Soberanes fire, but organizers decided to go ahead with slightly smaller version of the popular festival.

    "We want people to come to Big Sur and enjoy themselves, but to tread lightly and help boost the economy down there," says CFO and events director Elsa Rivera. 

    There will be no Gateway to Big Sur event this year, because Hyatt Carmel Highlands is under renovation and another option, Ventana ... Read More

  • Organic Coffee Roastery Coming to Watsonville

    14034798_574196806038802_8123146101245948647_nSeptember 20, 2016 - Amelia Loftus has worn many hats: baker, farmer, personal shopper, brewer, jam-maker. Now, having run Seven Bridges Brewing Supply for 15 years, written a book, and started a farm, Loftus has turned to coffee roasting as her next adventure.

    “I think it’s somehow in my blood and I don’t really know what else to do,” says Loftus. “After I left Seven Bridges, I spent a few months looking for a regular job and it was just a nightmare. I have a lot of bookkeeping skills so I was applying for a bookkeeping job and having to dress up, sit in a stodgy job and I just can’t see myself doing that.”

    She bought a small two-pound roaster ... Read More

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