Author Archive | Camilla M. Mann

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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Two unexpectedly intriguing
and delicious adventures

The Penny Ice Creamery.


Shooting olive oil.

Some people are tour people, relying on a resident expert to guide them from one location to the next while pointing out spots of interest along the way. I’ve never been a tour person. In fact, it wouldn’t be hyperbolic to characterize myself as tour averse. When traveling, I typically rent a house with a kitchen, frequent neighborhood grocers, seek out farmers’ markets, stop at roadside fruit stands, cook with local produce and steer clear of anything that could possibly be called a tour. But then I tried a food tour.

Three weeks ago, I didn’t know what a food tour was. Now, I’ve been on two of the three food tours … Read More

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A California restaurant with a Tuscan heart

La Balena

Photography by Geneva Liimatta

Carmel’s budding community of young, creative and sustainability-minded restaurateurs has just expanded with the addition of Anna and Emanuele Bartolini and their La Balena, an informal nod to Northern Italy on Junipero Street between Fifth and Sixth.

The Bartolinis had been tossing around the idea of opening a restaurant for more than a decade. Emanuele’s grandparents, who were originally from Sardinia, had a restaurant in Florence years ago, and after emigrating from Italy to New York, Emanuele started work in the city’s restaurant world before he even knew English. By the time he left New York to move to Carmel, he was working as a senior manager at Del Posto, which is owned jointly by Mario Batali and Lidia … Read More

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BSLT: Protecting and Sharing Spectacular Landscapes

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-11-30-33-amHigh above the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur sits the Glen Deven Ranch, which features pristine grasslands and woodlands and stunning views of the fog and sea below. In the Santa Lucia foothills, a verdant 1,057 tract called Mitteldorf Preserve looks as if it’s an ancient, enchanted forest—“Middle Earth,” as my family calls it. Thanks to the Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT) these and other majestic properties in our region have been preserved for the protection of the land and the enjoyment and education of the public.

Founded in 1978, BSLT is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire a love for the land and conservation of the area’s treasured landscapes. They invite people to join them outdoors, engage in conversations about the land, and instill a spirit of … Read More

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A century later, the Highlands is still a pioneer

Then and now: above, clockwise from lower right, the Highlands in its early day;
sous chef Francisco “Pancho” Castellon; Castellon with executive sous chef Alvaro Dalmau
and executive chef Chad Minton; a dish from Castellon’s plant-based tasting menu.


One hundred years ago, the Highlands Inn erupted from developer Frank Devendorf’s fierce admiration for the rugged setting. Situated on a pine-dotted cliff with panoramic views of Carmel to the north and Big Sur to the south, Devendorf’s creation showcased the craggy beauty of the area known as Carmel Highlands. A century later, renovations and a new, cutting-edge plant-forward menu reflect the Highlands’ continued appreciation of its history and location as well as a look … Read More

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