Author Archive | Martha Burton

Kick Off the Season with Soif’s New Spring Cocktails

March 19, 2019 – Spring begins this week. And now that we have an extra hour of daylight “saved” for the end of the day, how best to spend it? 

Few things fortify better than a 5pm cocktail and the creative team at Soif are debuting a few new libations this week that are truly dedicated to the season. The beloved downtown Santa Cruz restaurant is known for its local and seasonal fare and these new cocktails are similarly inspired. 

“We’re fortunate to have really great ingredients here, so we absolutely use everything in the kitchen,” says Soif bar manager Matt Barron. 

Like chef Tom McNary in the kitchen, Barron sees himself as an environmental steward. He carefully uses “leftover” trimmings from ingredients in the kitchen’s dishes—this week, everything from … Read More

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Organic Coffee Roastery Coming to Watsonville

14034798_574196806038802_8123146101245948647_nSeptember 20, 2016 – Amelia Loftus has worn many hats: baker, farmer, personal shopper, brewer, jam-maker. Now, having run Seven Bridges Brewing Supply for 15 years, written a book, and started a farm, Loftus has turned to coffee roasting as her next adventure.

“I think it’s somehow in my blood and I don’t really know what else to do,” says Loftus. “After I left Seven Bridges, I spent a few months looking for a regular job and it was just a nightmare. I have a lot of bookkeeping skills so I was applying for a bookkeeping job and having to dress up, sit in a stodgy job and I just can’t see myself doing that.”

She bought a small two-pound roaster in 2012 and has since been selling her beans … Read More

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Thomas Farm Opens Fields for First U-Pick Event

10547456_653900774678759_190600799191993439_nAugust 18, 2014 – From its highest point, Thomas Farm resembles a crazy patchwork quilt: vermilions clash with violent oranges, while sprinkled here and there are smaller patches of blues and violets. Closer to the fields, an expanse of yellow becomes a meadow of tall sunflowers bent with the weight of their buds. However, the majority of patches are filled with dappled rainbows of dahlias.

“We have been successful with flowers, because for a while now it has been difficult to find organic flowers at the level we grow them,” says Kari Thomas, co-owner of Thomas Farms along with her husband Josh. “But it’s been growing. When we first started selling dahlias, they were not that common and now it seems like everybody and their brother is growing dahlias.” Kari … Read More

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New Costanoa Chef Takes Eco-Resort to Next Level

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 1.35.38 PMFebruary 3, 2014 – You can tell Morgan L’Esperance loves food with a glance at her arms. On her left is a tattoo of her daughter’s name, Olive, while her right is inked with a California chef’s staples: garlic, mushrooms, and even an artichoke lifted from a seventeenth century print.

As the new Executive Chef of Cascade Bar and Grill at Costanoa Lodge in Pescadero, Chef Mo has been working hard for the past eight months to upgrade the resort’s cuisine, making it more organic, more local and more inventive.

“Costanoa used to be an artichoke farm,” says L’Esperance, “and I pay homage to that with my house butter which is an artichoke butter and our grilled artichoke appetizer. It’s funny because if I’m talking to tables and we’re talking … Read More

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Finding Your Whole Fish

John Cox with a Monterey Bay salmon

John Cox with a Monterey Bay salmon

As Chef John Cox says in his story in our Winter 2013 issue about cooking whole fish, “Ichthyophobia,” your best bet for obtaining fresh whole fish is to get to know a fisherman.

The next best way is to get it is to get to know a good fish market.

In Santa Cruz, the Fish Lady, H&H Fresh Fish’s new Fish House and Stagnaro Brothers all carry whole fish. The Fish Lady recommends calling ahead to preorder and H&H also needs advance notice if the fish is being purchased for pickup through it’s Community Supported Seafood weekly share program or a farmers’ market.

In Monterey, Carmel and Moss Landing, Sea Harvest provides whole fish if ordered in advance. Monterey Fish Co. … Read More

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