March 11, 2014 – There are certainly some benefits to writing about food. One of them is being able to go to things like the soft opening of the most anticipated restaurant in a long time here in Santa Cruz. I left the baby at home with Papa and met my friend for the late preview dinner seating (8:30pm feels late to me these days) at Assembly, the exciting new project being launched by The Glass Jar folks, otherwise known as The Penny Ice Creamery empire.
Walking into the gleaming space, I could immediately tell that the invitation had been extended to many of the who’s who in this food community, including some of Edible Monterey Bay’s recently awarded local heros. The place was packed, and everyone was thrilled to be there, for good reason. Here’s what we sampled.
Bean cooking seems like a pretty basic thing to have in your meal preparation tool kit, yet it seems like there is always something not quite right…too hard, too mushy, cracked skins, bland. The creamy white beans featured in Assembly’s braised chicken leg with housemade chorizo, artichokes, green olives and bread crumbs ($15) is the example we should all strive… Read More
March 11, 2014 – The debut of the new Beer Thirty Bottle Shop and Pour House last weekend is turning Soquel into something of a mecca for craft beer lovers.
The new pub and beer garden—which boasts 30 rotating taps and 180 varieties of bottled beer—is located about halfway between the wildly popular Sante Adairius and Discretion Breweries, both of which doubled the size of their tasting rooms this year. More than a few curious drinkers have already created a “beer route” by downing a pint at one and moving on to the next.
“We’re all about the beer,” says Olive Moredock, who owns Beer Thirty with Craig Renfroe. “And we wanted to create a welcoming, community place where people can come with their dogs and kids and meet up with their friends.”
The couple was inspired to open the new business by a trip they took to Portland last year and have spent the past eight months remodeling an old nursery using rustic reclaimed fence boards and galvanized steel. Their pea gravel yard features four 20-foot-long community picnic tables and a fenced dog run.
Moredock’s only previous food service experience was running an organic juice bar in college,… Read More
An initiative was filed with the county clerk last Thursday by the environmental group San Benito Rising that would put the issue to a vote on the November ballot.
“We’re sitting here on this giant deposit of Monterey Shale, so we’re trying to stop it before oil companies even get started and invest in infrastructure,” said organizer Andrew Hsia-Coron, a retired teacher.
The fracking ban was submitted by organic farmer Paul Hain, who raises pastured poultry, eggs and walnuts on his ranch in Tres Pinos; Tribal Chairperson Anne Marie Sayers; and retired Hollister teacher Margaret Morales Rebecchi. After review by the county counsel, the group will begin gathering the 1,642 signatures needed to place the initiative on the November 4th ballot.
“Water is the most important reason to ban fracking,” says Hsia-Coron. “The county is almost 100% dependent on groundwater and fracking takes copious amounts, then there is the risk of contamination. Everything we do in this county depends on water and it puts all that at… Read More
Your Choices for EMB’s Local Heroes 2014
March 1, 2014 – A fresh spring issue of Edible Monterey Bay is on its way right now to pick up at our wonderful advertisers and other locations. But we wanted to be the first to let you know who was selected by readers as EMB’s Local Heroes for 2014. A big congratulations to all the winners!
It’s kind of like the Oscars of the local food world. Voting took place online last fall and we think you made some excellent choices. To read more and find out who was chosen as the runners up, head over to one of our advertisers and pick up your free copy.
We hope you’ll join us for the Spring issue release party on March 5 and raise a toast to these fabulous folks. More info on party below.
Best Farm/Farmer: Jeff Larkey, Route 1 Farms, Santa Cruz.
Best Chef/Restaurant: Brad Briske, La Balena, Carmel.
Best Food Purveyor: Scott Roseman, New Leaf Community Markets.
Best Food Artisan: Tabitha Stroup, Friend in Cheeses Jam Co.
Best Beverage Artisan: Emily Thomas, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing.
Best Nonprofit: Nancy Birang and Karen Haralson,… Read More
Help us celebrate the winners of our 2014 Local Heroes awards, which will be announced in the new issue, and come experience the hospitality of our amazing host, Monterey’s new Wharf Marketplace.
The event will run from 5 to 7pm and will feature free appetizers ranging from the Wharf’s oysters and small bites from its great regular menu to special treats being cooked up just for this event.
Stewart & Jasper Orchards will be on hand to freshly roast its Central Valley-Grown almonds while Baker’s Bacon’s Tony Baker and Cowboy Sausages’ Butch Francis will both be there to prepare their meaty delights. Green Gold Farms will offer some of its artisanal pickles and more participants are expected to be announced soon!
Finally, to toast the Local Heroes winners and the exciting stories contained in the new issue, Antle Wines will offer its Pinnacalitos de Chalone estate varietals at just $5 per glass.
Guests who RSVP to EMB at firstname.lastname@example.org will be entered for a chance to win special prizes, but RSVPs are not… Read More
February 25, 2014 – Pure and wholesome raw goat’s milk from Santa Cruz County is now available to residents of the Monterey Peninsula. Lynn Selness of Summer Meadows Farm near Watsonville was one of the Goat Goddesses we profiled in EMB last year. Her 30 goat herd is giving more milk than she can keep up with so she’s looking for new customers and now delivers milk on Thursdays to Happy Girl Kitchen in Pacific Grove for pick up by members of her herd share.
With the help of a full-time intern, Lynn milks the goats twice a day and makes chèvre, feta cheese, ricotta, yogurt and kefir. Milk and dairy products are available by buying a share in the herd of nubian and French alpine goats for $20 a month. That way the customers actually own the goats and Selness just takes care of them for you.
Lynn’s especially fond of the nubians which come from a long line of goats that started with Nora—a goat she moved west with from Minnesota many years ago. “They have such rich milk and they communicate better,” she says. “And we just love their big floppy ears and Roman noses.”
In addition… Read More
Come sip some Holman estate wines and learn the secrets to making delicious appetizers using fresh farmers’ market produce from Elena Salsedo—owner of the legendary Sweet Elena’s artisan bakery in Sand City.
Elena, who grew up in Provence, is now our local treasure and she’s heading up the second event in Edible Monterey Bay’s 2014 In Your Backyard series, which takes place on Thursday, February 27 at 6pm at the Holman Ranch tasting room in Carmel Valley.
After baking exquisite pies and pastries for more than 20 years, Elena is just now making her first foray into bread baking. But it’s not just any bread: “I’m only interested in organic, sourdough whole wheat bread, which apparently is the only one we should eat for easier digestion,” she says.
She’ll entertain us with stories of how she decided to finally take the plunge into bread making and demonstrate how to use thick slices of toasted sourdough as a platform for a number of tasty bruschetta preparations—some vegetarian and others for meat lovers.
She’ll also share her recipe and techniques for the bakery’s most popular dish—Eggplant Mozzarella Casserole—a fresh and light variation on eggplant Parmesan.
While Elena’s crusty loaves are currently… Read More
February 18, 2014 – Bill Lee’s long-awaited new restaurant—Lucky’s Roadside in Seaside—finally opened for dinner in a rush last Friday, serving pastas, ribs and wood-fired pizzas but still fine-tuning other entrée options. “We had to open now or re-apply for our liquor license and wait 60 days more,” explained Lee, adding that he expects to start serving lunch at the beginning of March and open for breakfast in five or six weeks.
This is the ninth restaurant for the long-time Monterey entrepreneur. “It’s uniquely different from earlier restaurants. It has casual elegance, wrought iron orbs hung with crystal chandeliers, like an upscale California Pizza Kitchen,” he jokes.
“We had wanted to open softly, but we already have a full house and are starting a waiting list,” Lee said at 5:15 Monday evening.
Lucky’s is open seven days a week starting at 5pm for dinner, but doors open at 4pm for happy hour, featuring local wines, English Ales and a menu of $6 appetizers that include favorites from his previous restaurants, like calamari, crispy sand dabs, Szechwan style fried green beans and a soft pretzel with cheddar fondue.
Lee’s also proud of his over-the-top desserts, like caramelized banana cream pie… Read More
February 18, 2014 – Chef Jeffrey Weiss of Pacific Grove’s Jeninni Kitchen + Wine Bar is getting ready for another twirl with stardom. He’s launching his book Charcutería The Soul of Spain on March 11 and, together with owner Thamin Saleh, will take Jeninni’s Mediterranean flavors to New York for a dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in mid-June—this in addition to running the creative kitchen of one of our area’s hottest new restaurants.
The former figure skater was a national silver medalist at the juniors level in pairs competition in 1995 and practiced on the ice in San Jose from age 4 to his mid-twenties. While his forearms are full of kitchen scars, he says, “All my skating scars are internal,” and sees a connection between his former self and current endeavors.
“Your brain gets wired from growing up in an athletic environment. It gives you focus and drive and you learn that with strong dedication you can get strong results,” he says.
“I couldn’t just say here are… Read More
February 12, 2014 – To kick off the 2014 Meet the Farmer lunch series at Pacific’s Edge Restaurant, Monterey Abalone Company owners Art Seavey and Trevor Fay will join chef Matt Bolton for a master class in everything abalone on Saturday, February 15 at noon. Monterey Bay red abalone raised sustainably by Seavey and Fay under Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf stars in Bolton’s delicious menu. Join them over a glass of wine for a delightful luncheon and chat about the mollusk that was once our area’s speciality.… Read More
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