Tickets available for Saturday’s Colectivo Felix farm dinner with Garden Variety Cheese and Beauregard Vineyards

Baby beet and carrot escabeche with seared sweetbreads and fried garbanzos from a May 13, 2017 Colectivo Felix dinner in Soquel. Photo credit: Tara Walker

Colectivo Felix, led by chef Diego Felix and his wife Sanra Ritten, is doing an on-farm dinner this Saturday, June 24, at Monkeyflower Ranch in Royal Oaks (near Watsonville). The meal will feature dairy and meat from Garden Variety Cheese and Monkeyflower Ranch, plus produce from Tomatero Farms and wine from Beauregard Vineyards. See menu below.

It’s part of a farm dinner series featuring local organic farms and pairings with local ciders and wines. Online tickets are $75 for food only and $100 with wine.

Diego, Sanra and their kids moved to Santa Cruz County last fall to help with the opening of HOME. Sanra’s sister is Linda Ritten, Home chef Brad Briske’s wife. Colectivo Felix utilizes HOME’s kitchen and garden for some of their events. Diego is originally from Argentina. Occasionally, HOME’s menu selections reflect South American influences (including a beef tongue empanada with green tomato chimichurri and plum chutney that I enjoyed during a December visit).

In May Colectivo Felix began a four-month dining tour (unique dinner parties in Washington, D.C., New York, SF and Santa Cruz/Soquel). I had the pleasure of attending a Colectivo Felix pop-up dinner at Soquel’s HOME Restaurant in May and meeting Diego and Sanra, who are gracious, humble and warm. The prix fixe meal was exquisite; chef Diego really knows his flavors. Highlights included goat cheese and peach filled torta fritas; baby beet and carrot escabeche with seared sweetbreads and fried garbanzos (an indescribably wonderful combination); and lamb empanadas with chimichurri aioli.

When Diego talks about how much he loves creating good food, his whole face lights up and his passion is contagious, making the dining experience even better. I hope to enjoy another Colectivo Felix meal in the not-too-distant future!

June 24 Farm Dinner Menu (Garden Variety Cheese/Colectivo Felix at Monkeyflower Ranch)

Welcome Drink

Yerba mate infused cachaça with citrus and muddled herbs

Passed appetizer

Ricotta + carrot & peach escabeche over quinoa bread

 

First

Aguachile (cold soup): lettuce + pinapple + cilantro + tomatillo + fish crudo + yam + California seaweed + cancha

Pinot Gris, Beauregard Vineyards 2014

 

Second

Tomatero spring greens + smoked hard goat cheese + aguaribay & strawberry vinaigrette + cauliflower and brazil nuts

Rose of Pinot Noir, Coast Grade Vineyard Estate 2015

 

Main

Monkeyflower Ranch goat + red chimichurri + roasted roots + kale salsa verde

The Lost Weekend, Beauregard Vineyards

 

Dessert

Panqueques: Baked strawberry + pistachios + lavender yogurt helado

 

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Dads & Grads gifts: Gilroy Premium Outlets, Santa Cruz restaurants & cookies

Selections from Le Creuset at Gilroy Premium Outlets. Photo credit: Le Creuset

Waited ‘til the last minute to buy the dad or grad in your life a gift for this weekend? If they like to cook or are a candy fan, see below for a few gift ideas at Gilroy Premium Outlets. Remember that the outlets feature nearly 150 stores, incorporating a range of tastes. For the dad not particularly interested in food, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th has a great selection of clothing and ties, plus designer sunglasses and wallets. And Bose is a good option for the dad that loves music or television.

Outlet hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

 

Also, if you are shopping for a Santa Cruz foodie or are interested in purchasing a gift with a Santa Cruz theme, see end of article for more ideas.

Gilroy Outlets Food and Cooking Gift Ideas

    • Gift possibilities include grilling skillets, tongs, basting brushes and panini sets for Dad
    • Personalized gift boxes for dads and grads
    • Unique flavors including draft beer
    • Kitchen gadgets, cutlery, small appliances, BBQ accessories

 

Gilroy Outlets restaurants or cafes to purchase gift cards

  • Erik’s Deli Café
  • Starbucks

 

For refreshments while shopping, in addition to the aforementioned Starbucks and Erik’s Deli (the Sandwiches with Character at the latter are always popular), three options are:

  • All Natural Carts  (fresh fruit parfaits you can eat on the go)
  • Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
  • Gilroy Market Place (specialty coffees, pizza, garlic fries, sandwiches and more)

 

Santa Cruz Gifts/Gift Cards

Lots of folks appreciate restaurant gift cards; one idea is a card from The Glass Jar, which owns Assembly, The Picnic Basket and The Penny Ice Creamery. Purchase a card at any of these three, and your recipient can choose which venue to redeem it at. Same with Soif and La Posta, you can purchase gift cards at either restaurant, and they are good at both.

 

Last but not least, Pacific Cookie Company has options if you want to mail a gift. These include what they refer to as “dad-inspired cookie gifts” like Executive Sweet Pack (15 cookies, currently on sale for $23.50 from $26.50). Graduation-themed gifts include Congratulations Cookie Gift Tower (a dozen cookies, $21.95).

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Monthly Santa Cruz Night Market continues June 10 at the Food Lounge

Kutsara is a participant at the Food Lounge’s Santa Cruz Night Market June 10
Photo credit: Kutsara Facebook page

It’s time for the popular and very delicious Santa Cruz Night Market. Held the second Friday of each month at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, it’s a popup event with food, craft cocktails and live music. For the June 9, 2017 event, there will be several local vendors selling ready-to-eat food or take-home food products. These include Fogline Farm, Tanglewood Catering (chef Rachel Hughes), Rogue Pies (formerly Artisan Hand Pies), My Mom’s Mole, and the vendors listed below.

 

You can stop by anytime between 4-9 p.m., although the earlier you go, the more food options there are.

 

  • Hanloh Thai will have five gluten-free dishes ranging from $5-10 each. These include “A Very Big Spring Roll” with green gem, quick pickled carrot & daikon, sweet chili sauce, vermicelli noodles, mint, cilantro and tofu or Vietnamese sausage (made with Fogline Farm pork belly); and deep-fried curried catfish “Tod Mun Pla” with housemade curry paste, cucumber relish and sweet & sour sauce
  • Efi’s Dutch-Indo is doing three small plates at $6 each: Satay, Rissoles, and bitterballen (mini croquettes)
  • Kutsara with chef Clarissa Flores is serving Smoked Duck Banh Mi and Tocino Chicken Bao with Homemade Green Papaya and Korean Daikon Pickles

 

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

Contact Info: www.scfoodlounge.com, info@scfoodlounge.com

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San Jose’s Whole Foods Market hosts brewery re-opening Friday

A brewery/taproom at Whole Foods in San Jose is the site of a party June 2

Floodcraft Brewing Company is the new name for the brewery and taproom located inside Whole Foods Market on The Alameda in San Jose. To celebrate the re-naming, it’s having events all weekend long with special activities at the store beginning Friday, June 2.

Friday’s event is 6-8 p.m. The party is free and open to the public; you must be at least 21 years old.

 

If you RSVP ahead of time at Eventbrite, you receive a free Floodcraft beer koozie. For more information, call (408) 207-1126.

The party will include:

  • A breaking bread ceremony (actually, a pretzel — as the organizers point out, it’s a craft beer event after all!)
  • The first tapping of Floodcraft kegs
  • The opportunity to meet head brewmaster Guy Cameron
  • Floodcraft’s 19 rotating taps of craft beer – including 4 to 6 exclusive in-house beers, plus wines and cider on draft
  • A food popup

 

Details

Whole Foods Market is at 777 The Alameda, San Jose.

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Lots of popups this weekend in Santa Cruz & Scotts Valley

Mole nachos from My Mom’s Mole.
Photo credit: My Mom’s Mole Facebook page

There are many pop-up dining opportunities this weekend, May 26-27, 2017, in the Santa Cruz area–here are details for a few including two at local breweries.

 

Friday night: My Mom’s Mole at POPUP

My Mom’s Mole is hosting dinner at POPUP from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday (or earlier if the food sells out). There will be mole nachos (chicken and veggie options) made with My Mom’s Mole homemade tortilla chips plus their signature cactus and kale salad.

POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave. (next to Assembly), Santa Cruz

 

Friday night: La Sofrita at Steel Bonnet Brewing Co.

La Sofrita is doing dinner at Steel Bonnet Brewing Co. from 4-9 p.m. Friday. Dishes available will include empanadas; Puerto Rican achiote rice and pink beans, stewed with ham and sweet potatoes; mango-cucumber salad; and yuca fries served with garlic-mojo dipping sauce. Buck N The Odds will play live music.

Steel Bonnet Brewing Co., 20 Victor Square, Scotts Valley

 

Saturday night: Homeless Garden Project at POPUP

Homeless Garden Project is holding its first “farm to table pop-up” at Assembly’s POPUP, from 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday. Angie Smith is preparing the food. Menu selections will be beet sliders with pickled radishes and creamy green goddess dressing; Southern style barbecue chicken sliders; grilled potato salad with arugula and lemon mustard vinaigrette; summer chopped salad; and strawberries, angel food cake waffles and honeyed whipped cream.

POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave. (next to Assembly), Santa Cruz

 

Saturday night: Hanloh at East Cliff Brewing Co.

Hanloh Thai Food will be at East Cliff Brewing Co. from 5-9 p.m. Saturday. Their menu will include vegan and gluten-free options. There will be live music by Take One from 7-9 p.m.

East Cliff Brewing Co., 21517 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

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Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets Pop-Up tickets selling fast

Farm-fresh grilled zucchini, sweet corn, beans and aioli from chef Kendra Baker at a summer 2016 farmers’ market pop-up breakfast. Photo credit: Tara Fatemi Walker

Tickets are on sale for the 2017 season of pop-up breakfasts with guest chefs at the Westside Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley farmers’ markets. The first event (the morning of Saturday, June 3 at the Westside market with chef Erin Lampel of Companion Bakeshop) is sold out, and limited tickets remain for the other three events. Cost is $38 and tickets are available for purchase online and at the markets. See below for more details. I attended a pop-up breakfast with chef Kendra Baker last summer, and it was a very unique, enjoyable experience with delicious food and drinks!

 

In other market news, there is a May promotion that greatly helps low-income Santa Cruz County residents. Traditionally, the Live Oak and Felton markets offer customers with CalFresh (EBT/SNAP) cards a dollar-for-dollar match up to ten dollars. For example, if a CalFresh customer swipes their EBT card for $10 of EBT tokens, they receive an additional $10 in Market Match tokens at no charge. A $7 swipe equals a $7 match. These matching dollars can be used to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits only. During the month of May, in recognition of CalFresh Awareness Month, the Felton and Live Oak markets are offering a DOUBLE MATCH program. Customers receive two Market Match tokens for every EBT token up to $10. So $10 dollars of EBT becomes $30 at the Felton and Live Oak markets. However, funds are going fast and might not last through the end of the month (chances are you can still utilize the promotion May 21 at Live Oak market, and possibly May 23 at Felton market, but not the following week).

2017 Pop-Up Breakfast Dates and Chefs with tickets still available as of May 19

(for full menus, visit the web site):

 

Scotts Valley market

  • July 8 – chef Brad Briske of Home

 

Westside market

  • August 5 – chef Katherine Stern of La Posta
  • Aug 26 – chefs Kendra Baker and Jessica Yarr of Assembly, The Penny Ice Creamery, and The Picnic Basket

Different local chefs are featured at each event. For each dish at these multi-course meals, nearly 100% of the ingredients are sourced from farms at the markets. Event proceeds benefit the markets’ public educational programs including the Foodshed Project. This year for the first time there will be a raffle at each event to raise additional funds for the educational and outreach programs. The prize is a $50 farmers market gift certificate.

 

Attendees choose their seats by placing their own plates and silverware at spaces along u-shaped, family-style tables beginning at 9:30 a.m. Selections made with ingredients sourced from the markets begin rolling out around 10 a.m. As the guests eat and visit, farmers and chefs share their knowledge and perspectives regarding agriculture, community and consumer choice within the food system. There is also live local music.

 

The first summer series occurred in 2013, and the farm-to-table breakfasts continue to draw sell-out crowds. For more information call 831-325-4294 or email education@santacruzfarmersmarket.org.

 

 

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New Leaf’s May offerings include classes celebrating gluten-free month

Celebrate gluten-free month by making veggie quiche at a GF cooking class.
Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has several events this month, including ones to celebrate May being “gluten-free awareness month” and free movie showings. Here are some highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Classes

 

Friday, May 19

Gluten-free beer & cheese pairing

Attendees will learn about, and taste, several beer and cheese pairings with Groundbreaker Brewery and Snowdonia Cheese Co. Oregon-based Groundbreaker is a dedicated, gluten-free brewery. Locally sourced chestnuts and hops make for a unique, naturally gluten-free (and vegan) beer. Snowdonia, based in North Wales, is renowned for an “innovative and colorful approach to hand crafting their distinct range of cheeses.” In January 2017, Fine Food Digest released their “Best Brand Guide” and the Snowdonia flagship—Black Bomber—was awarded “Best British Cheese” (a distinction it has received two of the last three years).

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $10

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beer-cheese-pairing-with-groundbreaker-brewing-snowdonia-cheese-tickets-33406626118

 

Wednesday, May 24

Gluten-free cooking class: Summer treats

Join Chef Amy Fothergill for a hands-on cooking class where you will make fresh veggie quiche, rosemary prosciutto bread with fresh mozzarella, summer fruit crisp, waffles with berries, and luscious lemon tarts.

Time & Cost: 6–8:30pm, $40/Two for $70

Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gluten-free-summer-cooking-tickets-33293088524

 

Free films & talks

 

Tuesday, May 9

Gluten-Free on a Budget: Nutrition Talk & Store Tour
Join Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian and learn how a gluten-free lifestyle could benefit you, and how to save money when shopping for a gluten-free diet. Sample some of the products discussed in class and expand your gluten-free repertoire.
Time & Cost: 1–2pm, Free
Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gluten-free-on-a-budget-nutrition-talk-store-tour-tickets-33316279890


Tuesday, May 9

Movie Night: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
This 2014 documentary uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today—animal agriculture—and investigates “why the world’s leading environmental organizations are afraid to talk about it.” With host Sandi Rechenmacher, Nutrition Consultant and educator. Free popcorn.
Time & Cost: 6pm-8pm, Free
Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/movie-night-cowspiracy-the-sustainability-secret-tickets-33260473973
Wednesday, May 10

Movie Night: What the Health
Feature length documentary “What the Health” follows the journey of film writer/director Kip Andersen as he uncovers “the impacts of highly processed industrial animal foods on our personal health and greater community.” The movie has local roots: Santa Cruz producer Bill Meade is behind it. This is a rare opportunity to see an acclaimed film for free; it will be shown at the Nickelodeon later this month. With host Sandi Rechenmacher, and free popcorn.
Time & Cost: 6pm-8pm, Free
Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/movie-night-what-the-health-tickets-33260560231

 

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Hyatt Carmel Highlands features divine dinner options

Almond yogurt with root vegetables at California Market at Pacific's Edge. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Almond yogurt with root vegetables at California Market at Pacific’s Edge. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Carmel Highlands

In early March, I visited the Hyatt Carmel Highlands and ate dinner at California Market at Pacific’s Edge for the first time, and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. From the service, to the food, to the views—everything combined to make an incredible, enjoyable experience that I’ll remember for a very long time.

 

Soon after my husband and I sat down, our server David greeted us. He was extremely attentive for the next two hours, and I appreciated his down to earth nature and his enthusiasm and knowledge about the menu offerings.

 

We began with an appetizer, which was almond yogurt mixed with roasted root vegetables and pistachio granola. This is offered a la carte or as course one of the four-course plant based tasting menu ($50, or $80 with wine pairings, the menu rotates every six weeks or so).

I would not have ordered this dish without the waiter’s recommendation, and wow would I have missed out! Delightful, surprising tastes and textures…when I think of yogurt and granola, that sounds like a breakfast item. This worked beautifully as a light, unusual beginning to dinner.

 

We got the honor of meeting sous chef Pancho Castellon that night. He joined the Hyatt in April 2016, and he is vegan. “It was (executive chef) Chad Minton’s idea to create a plant-based tasting menu in order to enforce sustainability and to show people that you can still enjoy a full diner without the need of animal proteins,” says Castellon, who helped launch the menu last September.

 

As I talked to chef Pancho about watching some diners try vegan food for the first time, his eyes lit up with enthusiasm. He also became very animated when discussing the great ingredients the restaurant gets from various sources, including all the wonderful local produce. “I find this very inspiring, and love building relationships with our farmers and producers.”

 

We followed the first appetizer with an octopus starter that was extremely tender and flavorful. The fish is first done as a confit at a very low heat with California extra virgin olive oil. After the confit process, the octopus is chilled and then finished in the plancha. “Then we add some black garlic emulsion and new potatoes,” shares Castellon. There was also a kalamata olive aioli on the plate and I could have eaten a whole cup of this sauce.

 

One of our favorite dishes that night was Tom Yum soup, which included coconut squash broth plus strong lemongrass and kaffir lime flavors. Chef Pancho shared his inspiration for creating this: “I have always liked Thai coconut soup and was trying to find a way to make it less Thai and more ‘California/Pacific like’. It was also perfect for our winter menu. That is why we made the soup using local squash as a base, seasonal vegetables and some of the local foraged mushrooms Far West Fungi brings us.” The restaurant confits the mushrooms to give them a ham-like texture, which we noticed and enjoyed. Indeed, my husband—a devout meat-eater eating vegan soup—wanted to lick his bowl clean, but resisted.

 

California Market at Pacific’s Edge regularly uses Far West Fungi in Moss Landing for mushrooms (both wild and harvested), and receives other ingredients like huckleberries on occasion if these have also been foraged. A majority of the other produce used in the menu comes from a 50-mile radius, including Coke Farm, Brian’s Ranch, Mariquita Farms, Happy Boy Farms, and Swank Farms.

 

All of California Market’s menus, curated by executive chef Minton, feature a California map that points out local producers, such as Bellwether Farms Creamery in Sonoma and Monterey Abalone Company in Monterey. The restaurant also follows the guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and serves cage- and GMO-free eggs in its dishes.

 

Two entrees that stood out were scallops and tuna. The meaty, fresh scallops were served with gorgeous heirloom cauliflower and a to-die-for Romesco sauce. I noticed that the plant-based tasting menu’s third course was a vegan version of the same dish. The main difference was utilizing king trumpet mushrooms instead of scallops. “I really wanted something on the tasting menu that represents our regular menu, so I asked our mushroom guys if they could grow some big king trumpet mushrooms for us so I could cut the stems in scallop shapes,” said Castellon. “Then I smoked them with hickory, compressed them with kombu, and seared them like a regular scallop.” Castellon says that some couples have ordered both the vegan ones and the regular ones and it’s actually kind of hard to notice the difference in the plated dish.

 

The tuna dish was served with beer-battered avocado (so fun and tasty!), jicama cucumber salad, pistachio vinaigrette and piquillo pepper emulsion. The flavors and textures worked together beautifully.

 

Finally, for dessert, we devoured a heavenly chocolate hazelnut tart (I emphasize “devoured” because we thought we were quite full, but it was too good not to finish). Available on both the regular and tasting menus, it was served with burnt marshmallow, wild huckleberry granite (with berries from Far West Fungi) and whipped coconut cream. One day Castellon was at home reading some cookbooks, brainstorming ideas for a new menu. His wife Kika, who he describes as a “hardcore vegan,” came out of the kitchen with S’mores that she made using vegan “nutella” and dandies (vegan marshmallows). “I was up all night trying to figure out how to make it happen on the tasting menu. The next day I met with our pastry cook Kasala and started working on the recipe—and it’s vegan, gluten-free and almost sugar free.”

 

I highly recommend you have a meal as soon as possible at California Market at Pacific’s Edge. Since the hotel is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, there are a few opportunities for trying the food at special events as well. One is the “Forks.Corks.Action!” Winemaker series in the Wine Room, where attendees will meet the winemakers and enjoy a four-course dinner with wine paired with each course. During the series, winemakers will discuss the history, culture and qualities of the featured wines from Monterey and Santa Cruz County that will accompany chef Minton’s seasonal, locally sourced and plant-based menus.

 

There will be three Winemakers Dinners in 2017:

 

  • Thursday, April 27 — In honor of Earth Day held annually April 22, this will be a plant based four course winemaker’s dinner with Pierce Ranch Vineyards, which will be showcasing their sustainable wines  ($120 inclusive per person). The menu includes a second course of caramelized morel risotto featuring asparagus and macadamia nuts.

 

  • Thursday, Sept. 28 — In honor of California Wine Month, California Market at Pacific’s Edge is teaming up with DeTierra Wines and the National Steinbeck Center for a benefit dinner.  Learn about DeTierra wines and their connection to John Steinbeck.  Listen to Steinbeck Scholar Susan Shillinglaw talk about John Steinbeck while enjoying a four-course wine pairing meal  ($140 inclusive per person/$20 from each ticket benefits the National Steinbeck Center)

 

  • Thursday, November 9 – Details to be announced

 

Curious about the restaurant’s name? The hotel used to have two restaurants, casual bistro California Market and fine dining Pacific’s Edge, but they merged them into a new and improved venue in January. The restaurant underwent welcome renovations including an 870-square-foot deck with a louvered roof and glass-panel walls.

 

Details:

Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Overlooking Big Sur Coast

120 Highland Drive, Carmel

highlandsinn.hyatt.com or 831-620-1234

 

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Dine at Hula’s on Mondays and support Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz County

April Mahalo Mondays benefit Boys and Girls Club

April Mahalo Mondays benefit Boys and Girls Club

If you go out for dinner or drinks at the downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Hula’s on Monday nights in April, part of your meal will benefit the Boys and Girls Club.

 

During the month of April, Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Room – a wonderful place to eat and drink with selections to accommodate many different tastes – is donating 10% of all Monday night sales to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz County.

 

This promotion is part of the restaurant’s Mahalo Mondays community giving program; on selected months throughout the year, a different non-profit organization receives 10% of Monday evening sales. Between 2008 and 2016, Hula’s donated more than $143,000 to 56 local nonprofit organizations via Mahalo Mondays proceeds.

 

If you haven’t been to Hula’s lately, there’s a great lanai in front providing outdoor seating; it opened in May 2016. The restaurant’s menu features Hawaiian fusion dishes and other choices. Lunch highlights include delicious burgers with beef and veggie options that come with choice of sweet potato fries (warning: addictive), regular fries, slaw or arugula or Caesar salad; rice bowls with black beans, cabbage mix, and choice of “jungle” tofu, wasabi ahi or spicy Thai chicken; and a variety of tacos. At dinnertime, all of these dishes are still available, and there are many more such as Hawaiian fish soup, slow-roasted pork plate, and fresh fish. For seafood, you can choose between six types of fish and select one of six preparation types to match it with. For example, pick lemongrass-encrusted halibut with lime-ginger-cream sauce or pan-fried ono with shiitakes. Hula’s also offers a tiki bar that features 40 different rums, tropical drink specialties and more.

 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County promotes youth guidance through educational, vocational, recreational, social and character development of girls and boys ages 6 to 18. The Club is the only youth service organization in the greater Santa Cruz area providing daily afterschool drop-in programs five days a week. There is a downtown Santa Cruz location, and a new Live Oak location that opened one year ago. Boys & Girls Clubs also offer a summer day camp program five days a week from mid-June through mid-August, and Winter and Spring break day camps.

 

Details

Hula’s Island Grill and & Tiki Room, 221 Cathcart Street (between Cedar and Pacific), Santa Cruz (831) 426-4852

Dates: April 10, 17, and 24

Hours: Dinner nightly 4:00 p.m.–close, lunch Tuesday- Sunday 11:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m., happy hour with daily specials (Tuesday–Sunday 2-6 p.m., Monday 4:30–6).

 

 

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NEXTies honor Santa Cruz businesses and individuals

The 2017 NEXTies will be awarded March 24

The 2017 NEXTies will be awarded March 24. Photo credit: Event Santa Cruz

The 2017 NEXTies event will include people from Santa Cruz’s food, coffee, art and music communities. The NEXTies, which celebrate “the area’s brightest doers,” are in their eighth year. For the annual awards ceremony, held this Friday, March 24, event organizer Matthew Swinnerton invites the public to “pull out the pearls and cufflinks and join us for an evening in honor of those in Santa Cruz County who inspire us to reach further and higher and inspire the community.” Danielle Crook and DNA are hosting the program.

 

New award categories this year include “Best Writer.” The inaugural recipient is Good Times food writer Lily Stoicheff, who is honored to receive this accolade.

 

“As a journalist who writes about food culture in Santa Cruz County, I’m drawn to the stories of people who are fearlessly passionate about enriching our community through what we eat, be it a chef, farmer, small business owner or brewer,” says Stoicheff. “I gravitate towards writing about food because it’s something we all share, and as such it holds the possibility of creating a path to understanding and connection with each other and our environment. Plus, eating is an opportunity to bring joy into our lives daily.” Being acknowledged by the NEXTies, she says, shows that the Santa Cruz community values this type of storytelling.

 

Cat & Cloud Coffee is receiving the 2017 NEXTie for “New Business of the Year.” Owners Chris Baca, Jared Truby, and Charles Jack were thrilled to hear the news.

 

“We opened this business because we love community, and we wanted Cat & Cloud to be a hub for the community. We live in the neighborhood, and its awesome to see the community recognize us and really participate in the vision we have for Cat & Cloud.”

 

Vendors from the Santa Cruz Food Lounge’s monthly “Night Market” (held the second Friday of each month) will be selling food at the NEXTies. Vendors include My Mom’s Mole (mole nachos in chicken, veggie, and combination options), TanglewoodArtisan Hand Food (with hand pies including meat and veggie options), Hanloh, and La Sofrita (empanadas and mango-cucumber salad). I personally recommend every single one of these fabulous food businesses! Andrea Mollenauer, Cat Hernandez and Sally Kane operate the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, located at 1001 Center St. in downtown Santa Cruz. Mollenauer actually won a NEXTie in 2015.

 

At the event, there will be music from 2017 NEXTie award winners The Coffis Brothers and Taylor Rae. McCoy Tyler will also perform. Beer from New Bohemia Brewing Co will be available for purchase.

 

The full 2017 NEXTies winners list:

Entrepreneur of the year: Sindy Hernandez de Cornejo
Musician of the year: Taylor Rae
Band of the year: The Coffis Brothers
Artist of the year: Irene O’Connell
Writer of the year: Lily Stoicheff
Give Back person of the year: Mariah Tanner & Natalie Anne Oliver
Foodie of the year: Elizabeth Birnbaum
New Business of the year: Cat & Cloud Coffee
Athlete of the year: Ryan Navaroli
Under 18 person of the year: Ashley Solis-Pavon: Community Agroecology Network
Non-Profit of the year: Warming Project
Mentor of the year: Keisha Frost
Innovative Business of the Year: Inboard
Innovator of the year: Nick Halmos from Cityblooms
TECHie of the year: Gabriel Jesse Medina (From Digital NEST)
Green Business of the year: Khordz Handmade Mugs
Wildcard: Happily Ever Laughter

 

Buy tickets for $30 online.

 

The NEXTies were first awarded in 2010. Four years later, Santa Cruz Next asked Matthew Swinnerton of Event Santa Cruz to take over the NEXTies. Swinnerton launched the organization Event Santa Cruz in 2013 to help tell the stories of local businesses and the people that make these businesses run. The organization presents monthly happenings around town.

 

In an effort to reduce waste, Event Santa Cruz has partnered with ReCRUZ for the NEXTies. Guests are encouraged to bring their own mug or “rent” one from ReCRUZ for free during the event.

 

Details:

Friday March 24, 2017, 6:30-9 p.m.

Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz

eventsantacruz.com/2017nexties

 

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