Author Archive | Deborah Luhrman

Spungin, Probasco and Clark Partner on Cooper Molera Restaurant, Bakery and Café

March 20, 2018 – With renovation of the historic Cooper Molera Adobe in downtown Monterey about halfway complete, Edible Monterey Bay can now report on the exciting new restaurant, bakery and café complex expected to open there this summer as part of a groundbreaking partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Longtime restaurateur and realtor Kirk Probasco is partnering on the project with wildly creative local pastry chef Ben Spungin and Sonoma restaurant manager P.J. Clark. Together they’ve formed the Alta Group to operate two businesses on the historic 2.5-acre property.

Alta Bakery and Café—projected to open in June—will be located in the Corner Store building at the intersection of Polk, Munras and Alvarado St. In addition to espressos and coffee drinks, a glass showcase sunk into the counter … Read More

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Chardonnay III Takes to the Sea

February 20, 2018 –  The Chardonnay II has been a fixture on the Monterey Bay for more than 25 years, but now the popular sailing excursion yacht has a brand new sister—almost an identical twin. The Chardonnay III officially launched on Valentine’s Day with a bay cruise along the Santa Cruz coast for a group of Adobe software executives from all over the world.

The bright red sail boat is easy to spot out at sea and, for now, will be used exclusively for private charters and team building sails, like the one taken by the group from Adobe.

“Our charter business was growing so much that we ended up having to cancel the scheduled public tours,” said Lara Antonioli, director of marketing and outside sails, “The Chardonnay III will … Read More

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Felton and Boulder Creek Markets Leave New Leaf Group

February 13, 2018 – Just days after C.E.O. Wendy Collie resigned and plans to open a New Leaf store in Carmel were scrapped, the owner of the Felton and Boulder Creek markets says he is exiting the New Leaf/New Seasons group and re-branding his stores as Wild Roots Markets.

“It was a tough decision,” says owner Bob Locatelli, “We’ve had a great run with New Leaf for 24 plus years, but just decided to go off in a new direction. It got to the point where we wanted to focus more on our local community here in the San Lorenzo Valley.” He says they have been considering the move for nearly two years, as the formerly small Santa Cruz-based natural foods chain entered into a phase of rapid expansion, after … Read More

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Local winemakers get out in front of the sparkling wine boom with lots of pink and a rainbow of quirky new bubbly varieties.


It was already fall. Days were getting shorter, nights were getting colder and the chardonnay grapes at Beauregard Vineyards’ Bald Mountain Vineyard in Bonny Doon still had not ripened. “The plants were shutting down and losing their leaves. All of the fruit was under-ripe—it was just unacceptable,” recalls winemaker Ryan Beauregard.

So Mother Nature forced his hand and Beauregard used the under-ripe grapes to make his very first Champagne-style sparkling wine—a type of wine that requires highly acidic, immature fruit. “It’s a scary investment in equipment and time, but it forced us to take the risk,” he says.

Little did Beauregard know that … Read More

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Italian Celebrity Chef to Helm Basil Seasonal Dining in Carmel

November 9, 2017 – The chef/owners of Basil Seasonal Dining in Carmel have parted ways and well-known Italian chef Andrea Palmieri will take over the locavore kitchen there in January.

“Andrea is a really incredible chef,” says Denis Boaro, who is now sole owner of Basil after buying out partner and Basil’s executive chef Soerke Peters. “Andrea gives cooking classes and has made many TV appearances and runs a family restaurant called BucaVino in Rome.”

Boaro promises that Basil—the Monterey Bay area’s first Green Certified restaurant—will not change too much. “We are going to keep the same locally-sourced California cuisine and continue the great work that Soerke has been doing,” he says.

Chefs Denis Boaro and Andrea Palmieri

“But he will be using Italian techniques and there will be some Italian influence, because … Read More

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