Author Archive | Sarah Wood

Organic Produce Outlook Just Keeps Getting Brighter

December 18, 2018 – Speakers at the second Organic Growers Summit, held Dec. 12–13 at the Monterey Conference Center, gave the 900 organic farmers and agricultural service providers in attendance a lot to be encouraged about: Growth of the organic produce sector continues to vastly out-perform conventional and several factors, they argue, should ensure significant gains in 2019 and beyond.

Today organic food overall, while rapidly growing, still represents just 5.5% of all food purchased in the United States.

But the total dollars spent on organic produce during the year ending in November grew to 13.9%, and the sector is growing 5 to 7 times the rate of conventional, according to Brian Lechner, vice president–client consulting for Nielsen, who spoke on the panel Organic Data Dive: A Look at the Read More

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Cultura Partners Planning Monterey Venture

December 11, 2018 – Monterey’s vibrant downtown dining scene is about to get even more exciting.

If all goes to plan, the creative team behind the wildly popular Oaxacan-influenced Cultura comida y bebida in Carmel will be opening a new restaurant at 481 Alvarado St. in March.

Cultura partners Sarah Kabat-Marcy, John Cox and Michelle Estigoy just signed the lease in November on what was Alvarado Fish & Steakhouse—the storefront between Bull and Bear and Toribashi. And while they have already started to gut the interior, they are still narrowing down ideas for the restaurant’s cuisine. 

“It’s definitely going to be influenced by our travels and our appreciation for art, history and culture,” says Kabat-Marcy, Cultura’s managing partner.

A lot of their travels have focused on Mexico and specifically Oaxaca, … Read More

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Sustainably sourced international cuisine is more diverse and plentiful than ever before in the Monterey Bay area


Ramin Movahedi didn’t learn the recipes that are neatly taped to the kitchen wall of his Monterey restaurant in culinary school, and he didn’t develop them at other restaurants. In fact, Movahedi—who moved to Carmel at age 20, after the 1978 Iranian Revolution and ensuing war tore apart his country—is a software engineer who had no restaurant experience at all before opening his Persian-influenced, vegetarian and organic Saffron Café last year. Instead, starting when they were engaged 26 years ago, he and his wife, Jill, collected the recipes from extended family members and practiced and refined them over the years as they prepared from-scratch meals each night for themselves … Read More

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Cult Roaster Opens New Shop in Seaside

November 6, 2018 – Seaside-area coffee and beer lovers are in for a new treat: Amelia Loftus, the talented roaster and brewer behind Hidden Fortress Coffee Roasting, has just set up shop in the Press Box space in the Monterey County WeeklyBuilding at 1123 Fremont St.

The move is something of a homecoming for Loftus, who started roasting her character-filled, organic, principally medium-roast, single-origin coffees and blends at her farm in Royal Oaks in 2012 and began selling them early on at the Pacific Grove and Marina farmers’ markets.

Two years ago, Loftus opened her own small café in Watsonville and began pulling back on the Monterey County farmers’ markets. The café attracted a strong following, but Loftus says business was not quite brisk enough to fully utilize her … Read More

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Ron Mendoza Out at Revival and Contemplating New Venture; Caroline Thomson Promoted to Production Manager

September 18, 2018 – Monterey-area local food lovers were shocked on Saturday to learn from their Instagram feeds that Ron Mendoza, the founding chef-partner of Revival Ice Cream, is no longer with the artisanal ice cream business that he dreamed up just a few years ago.

“It is with great sadness that I announce that I am no longer part of Revival Ice Cream,” Mendoza wrote.

“Over three years ago a friend and I wanted to make a positive impact in our city. The idea of bringing food craftsmanship, community and creativity to Monterey was what we set out to do and I feel we achieved it.

However, this is just business and at this point the investors would prefer to continue on their own. And so my idea and … Read More

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