Author Archive | Lisa Crawford Watson

YOU CAN TRY THIS AT HOME

Patricia Poritzky
Back to school: Patricia Poritzky at Let’s Cook Santa Cruz.
Photo by Keana Parker.

Patricia Poritzky is sitting by the curb in her hybrid, planning tonight’s menu and waiting to pick up the kids in her carpool, one of the many ways she shares and conserves resources throughout her day. Another is the 2,000-square-foot professional kitchen she timeshares. By day, another business cooks there; at night, Poritzky transforms it into a cooking school.

“Let’s Cook Santa Cruz,” which opened with sold-out classes in January, is where she and guest chefs teach the community how to cook SOLE food—sustainable, organic, local and ethical grub. “SOLE food is part of a movement to help change the way people eat and access their food,” Poritzsky says, adding that if her students “learn one … Read More

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FEASTING ON FELLOWSHIP

The Jewish Food Festival celebrates
25 years of feeding the soul

Open-air deli: Lester Tockerman
Open-air deli: Lester Tockerman and an array of food offerings
Photos by Patrice Ward

At the end of June, members of Congregation Beth Israel and their friends meet in the Carmel temple’s kitchen to begin baking bread and pastries from traditional recipes that will serve nearly 4,000 people. The kitchen becomes an orchestration of activity, its rhythm kept by the clanging of pots and pans, while the melody dances on the voices of women sharing family stories, remembering the bubbies who “did it this way” and the memories of holidays and festivals gone by. As hands stir the pot, work the dough, form the crust, the spirit enters what is fondly called, “Jewish food for your soul.”

“I am … Read More

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2012 EDDY AWARDS

Jim Kasson’s tribute to Salinas Valley
farm workers wins national prize

Equipped: Kasson and his 4x5 Linhof Technika.
Equipped: Kasson and his 4×5 Linhof Technika.
Photo by Rob Fisher

It all started with a picture. A landscape, photographed through the window of a moving car. Some images were clear, others blurred, with directional distinction. Fascinated, Jim Kasson was determined to figure out how it was achieved.

For 18 months, Kasson stared at that photograph, the engineer in him piecing together a process that would have created the composition, while the artist appreciated the effects. In the end, he pulled out his 4×5 Linhof Technika camera and began making his own. Kasson eventually applied the technique to create a series of photos of Salinas Valley farm workers, which he called This Green Growing Land. A collection of the … Read More

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CAFÉ CULTURE

Vertigo Coffee’s Dmitri Fridman
resets the table in San Juan Bautista

scenes from the cafe
Photos by Philip Geiger

Dmitri Fridman speaks softly and slowly, a hint of his Russian heritage inflecting his words. Nearby, coffee slips down the sculptural blown-glass spiral of a Kyoto slow dripper, one drop at a time, yielding a dark, smooth cup of coffee. Fridman is sipping a glass of his cold-brewed iced coffee and having one of his signature multigrain pizzas, baked in a new wood-fired pizza oven and topped with paper-thin slices of potato and Meyer lemon and dollops of caramelized onion and goat cheese.

Fridman is enjoying the patio of his own Vertigo Coffee, the San Juan Bautista coffee roaster he opened with his wife, Kitty Fridman, just two years ago. The spot has already become … Read More

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THE FAULT LINE

Delicious hospitality and a Donner Party ghost

Fault Line
Photos by Philip Geiger

You can find it by wandering down Franklin Street until the path runs out of pavement and disappears into acres of growing fields, where row upon variegated row extend to the distant foothills, which seem to reach right up to God. You also can ask the folks in town how to get to San Juan Bautista’s Fault Line Restaurant and Gazebo, and they’ll point you toward “Edie’s place.” But even the best directions don’t guarantee you’ll be invited in for dinner.

The place, which had previously served Italian and German fare, was already named for its location when Edie Duncan bought the house, built by Donner Party survivors Patrick and Margaret Breen. Duncan, who was born in Poland and … Read More

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