Author Archive | Sarah Wood

Monterey’s Innovative Cult Taco Opening for Sneak Peeks

April 9, 2019 – The creative masterminds behind Monterey’s hottest upcoming restaurant opening have started offering periodic tastings where lucky guests can experience its exceptional food, hip design and pioneering model for service and staffing.

Cult Taco won’t open officially open until May 1, but the partners—Sarah Kabat-Marcy, John Cox and Michelle Estigoy—and manager Kyle O’Dell see the new place as an extension of the wildly popular brand they have established with Cultura comida y bebida in Carmel, and they want to preserve it by being ready.

They also have another reason to take their time: Cult Taco is experimenting with the whole notion of what it means to be a restaurant. The interior and table setting design, ingredient sourcing and dish development have all been done with the care … Read More

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Excitement Builds as Alta Bakery Prepares to Open Thursday in Historic Adobe

April 2, 2019 – Alvarado Street’s influx of superb chef-driven restaurants that are at once casual in atmosphere and serious in their from-scratch techniques and elevated sourcing will see an especially big bump this week when Alta Bakery and Café opens in the historic Cooper-Molera Adobe complex. 

Located at the top of Alvarado where it and four other streets—Polk, Jefferson, Pearl and Munras—meet, Alta offers an exciting intersection of the property’s past history and the new directions modern restaurants are taking. 

Likewise, the gorgeous space itself and its inventive food reflect an intersection of the very personal—and luckily for guests, very exceptional—experiences and influences of Alta’s partner-culinary director Ben Spungin, formerly executive pastry chef at Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar, Bernardus Lodge and Restaurant 1833 and his Alta Group partners—director … Read More

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Pleasure Purveyor

The Monterey Bay area’s most famous chef—David Kinch—has been planting the seeds of his first Santa Cruz County restaurant all his life


It’s a Friday afternoon less than a week before chef David Kinch will take advantage of the annual winter closure of his 3-Michelin-starred Manresa restaurant to fly with his girlfriend and other friends to the Caribbean, and he has been counting down the days until they hit the beach.

In a matter of hours, he’ll be greeting guests in Manresa’s dining room, enjoying seeing his life’s work rock their worlds. But right now, his mind and hands are fully absorbed in the pleasure of cooking itself: Kinch is collaborating with some of his team members to make focaccia and pasta in the restaurant’s kitchen. … Read More

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Local Food Artisans and Food Tours, Bring Historic Adobe to Life

February 26, 2019 – In a boon for both local makers and the shop itself, the historic Joseph Boston Store—Monterey’s first general store—has over the last year become a showcase for a large and vibrant array of local artisans including Happy Girl Kitchen, Big Sur Salts, Carmel Berry Co., 43 Ranch and Edison and Melrose Tea.

The change in direction of the store—which most recently sold Victorian-era memorabilia—towards artisanal foods happened after a chance meeting between the store’s buyer, Anne Banta, and the proprietor of Monterey Bay Food Tours, Casey Aguilar.

Banta had recently taken over the buying position as a volunteer for the Historic Garden League, which runs the store and uses the proceeds to care for and restore the historic gardens that form the heart of the adobe … Read More

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Route 1 Farms Going on Hiatus; Groundswell to Farm Ocean St. Extension

February 12, 2019 – One of Santa Cruz’s longest-running and most beloved organic farms is taking a break in 2019.

“Our hope is that after dealing with some structural, financial and personal issues we will be back again in 2020,” farmer-proprietor Jeff Larkey wrote in a message to the farm’s customers posted on its website. “It’s been a great and long run but it’s time for some changes.”

As part of the break, Rt. 1 will not be offering a CSA this year and will likely wind down its farmers’ market stands by the end of February. Larkey has also transferred operations of the 14-acre Ocean Street extension property he has farmed since 1981 to Groundswell Farm.

But Larkey, who was one of the vendors at Santa Cruz’s first farmers’ market … Read More

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