Author Archive | Camilla M. Mann

Jacks Monterey Opens With Breezy New Look

April 25, 2017 – Portola Hotel & Spa cuts the ribbon Wednesday on its entirely reimagined restaurant and bar space—Jacks Monterey—and unveils a new menu that chef Danny Abbruzzese calls ‘California Cultural Cuisine.’

“I’m thrilled about how opened up Jacks is now. It’s an inviting space. We have seating in the atrium so you can sit under the stars at night and the sun during the day,” says chef Danny. “I’m very excited about serving our interpretation of fresh, cultural foods from this region.”

General Manager Janine Chicourrat says: “There is no other place that has more cultures than California. There are so many varied flavors and seasonings.”

In that vein, Chef Danny’s new menu reflects a melting pot of flavor profiles. He takes traditional moussaka, which is ubiquitous in every … Read More

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Conscious Cuisine and Unobstructed Views at the Highlands Inn

Stepping out onto the new, 1200-square-foot deck of California Market at Pacific’s Edge restaurant at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands is a treat, especially at this time of year. The longer days mean that you can linger over cocktails and dishes from the restaurant’s stellar menu, enjoying them as the sun dips into the ocean. The air is just crisp enough to be refreshing, and the unobstructed, panoramic views of Big Sur’s craggy cliffs and the majestic Pacific below will take your breath away.

A century after Frank Devendorf founded the Highlands, an extensive renovation and a new, cutting-edge plant-based tasting menu reflect the Highlands’ continued appreciation of its history and location as well as a look forward to where the local food scene is moving.

The Highlands’ current owner, Florida-based … Read More

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backroomNow celebrating its 10th anniversary, the passion in the kitchen and front of the house at Cantinetta Luca is as fresh as it was when the doors first opened. From the trattoria’s open kitchen into which diners can peer and watch the chefs in action to neighboring Salumeria Luca—deli, bakery, and gourmet market—Carmel’s Italian hub bustles with culinary activity.

Cantinetta Luca’s interior design is an attractive blend of brick, stone, glass, and chiseled wood, punctuated with rich Mediterranean colors. The wine room is a perfect setting for semi-private special events, featuring a barrel-vaulted brick ceiling with exposed, rough-hewn beams. From the dining room, diners can glimpse salumi in the works in the glass-encased cured meat-aging room.

All of Cantinetta Luca’s pasta, bread, sauces, dressings and marinades are made in-house everyday … Read More

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Globe-trotting farm dinner series
shines a light on local land preservation

Range to table: Chef Brett Cooper with beef grazed and cooked on site at Glen Deven Ranch.


“This is the one. Maybe the best OITF event ever!” reads the caption for the photo that Outstanding in the Field posted on Instagram about its epic dinner at the Big Sur Land Trust’s Glen Deven Ranch late last fall. “The day, the place, the people, the food…it really was as good as it gets.”

Jim Denevan, the Santa Cruz chef and artist who founded OITF, admits that he almost regretted making the statement. “I’ve never said that before—best event ever—because I don’t like to think there’s a hierarchy of events.”

Still, the caption remained. And chef … Read More

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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 effort and time, he also shared something that his grandmother … Read More

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