Author Archive | Deborah Luhrman

Union Foodie Truck Launches Next Week

August 14, 2018 – Make way for a new food truck rolling out on the streets of Santa Cruz next week. With an Asian-Mexican fusion menu, Union Foodie Truck is a dream-come-true for owner Rachel Thompson—a former culinary school instructor and longtime chef at The Buttery café. 

“Growing up, my family was all about food,” Thompson says. “It is a family of artists, but it took me awhile to realize that food is my form of self-expression.” She trained in the Cabrillo Culinary Arts program and ended up opening the Corner Café at The Buttery, designing the menu and putting in 15-hour days in the kitchen.

Later she worked for the Professional Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) in Campbell, where she started out giving cooking demos at … Read More

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Assembly Restaurant Gets Some Love

July 3, 2018 – A talented new chef is bringing his fine dining chops to Assembly restaurant on Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz. Chef Matty Love, a native of Salt Lake City, is moving south from Sacramento, where he was chef de cuisine at The Firehouse, the capital city’s famed special occasion restaurant.

“I’m really excited to be here in Santa Cruz and to be part of the community,” he says. “The restaurant is already refined, my plan is to make some really great food that people will love.” 

According to Zachary Davis—owner of Assembly, the Picnic Basket and Penny Ice Creamery, with business partner and chef Kendra Baker—”Matty is a great combination of steady and humble and talented and community-minded, all the things we believe in.”

Love has been in … Read More

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Dust Bowl Brewing Eyes Former Wharf Marketplace

June 8, 2018 – After sitting empty for the past three months, the old train depot that formerly housed The Wharf Marketplace has a prospective tenant that would add a new dimension to downtown Monterey’s thriving craft brew scene.

The owners of Dust Bowl Brewing in Turlock have applied for a beer license for the property and are working to assume the lease—which was granted to Tanimura & Antle by the City of Monterey in 2013—so they can open a satellite taproom.

“We’re still trying to get all our ducks in a row and going through the process,” says Dust Bowl founder Brett Tate. “But we’re excited about the possibility of bringing our brand to Monterey.”

“With all the places that John Steinbeck wrote about there, Dust Bowl seems like … Read More

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Steaks. Oysters and French Food Coming to Santa Cruz

June 5, 2018 – A sophisticated new fine dining restaurant called Alderwood is set to open in downtown Santa Cruz this fall. It is the creation of executive chef Jeffrey Wall—who was the opening chef at Atlanta’s top-rated Kimball House and Denver’s trendy Hearth & Dram.

Wall moved to Santa Cruz in February to begin work on the new project, under construction at 155 Walnut St. at the corner of Cedar St. in the building that formerly housed Erik’s Deli.

“It’s going to be a coastal steakhouse and oyster bar with French influences,” says Wall. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and make great use of the bounty of this area.”

Alderwood—designed by Atlanta’s Square Feet Studio—will include 79 seats in three separate areas: a bar, dining … Read More

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A former chef creates a convenient gourmet product from blemished artichokes that otherwise would go for animal feed


There comes a time in the life of many chefs when it’s just too much. The long hours, the high-pressure environment and often the dream of owning their own businesses compel many to leave the restaurant world behind and try their hand at something new.

The Monterey Bay area is home to a number of artisanal food businesses started by former chefs, but few have made the transition as successfully as Jane Shaffer, founder and president of Monterey Farms, which occupies a unique niche producing fresh, hand-prepared artichoke hearts.

Like many Easterners before her, the Buffalo, New York native decided as a young woman she … Read More

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