New Leaf in Westside Santa Cruz dishes up breakfast cooking class

Examples of breakfast dishes created by Madia Jamgochian (Attendees of the April 24 class may learn variations of some of these selections)

Examples of breakfast dishes created by Madia Jamgochian (Attendees of the April 24 class may learn variations of some of these selections)

Interested in learning techniques for creating a delicious breakfast? Chef Madia Jamgochian is teaching “Intro to Cooking-Breakfast!” at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz.

The class is from 5 -7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, and the cost is $40 per person or $70 for 2. Preregistration is required and space is limited; contact New Leaf at 426-1306 or visit newleaf.com/events.

The hands-on class is beginner-friendly and gluten-free. Attendees will receive recipes and learn breakfast basics like how to make an omelet. The course description also mentions learning how to cook sweet potato hash, and participants can enjoy a full meal at the end of class if they “don’t mind eating breakfast for dinner.”

Instructor Jamgochian, a certified nutrition consultant who advises clients through her business “My Healing Habits,” also serves as Community Education Coordinator at New Leaf’s Westside location. Jamgochian is excited to teach on this topic. “I learned to cook when I was about 10, and it is something that has proved both valuable, and fun over the years. Cooking for yourself and others creates an important connection to the food we eat.”

Jamgochian has taught many cooking classes at New Leaf but this is her first intro-level class. She talks about her food philosophy on her blog myhealinghabits.com: “The name My Healing Habits was chosen to emphasize the fact that it is not always the foods we eat, but the habits we form around eating: where we choose to shop, how we prepare a meal, the ingredients we use, our state of mind, the location, and the time we take. These are all important factors in the grand scheme of reaching Optimal Health.”

Learn about all of New Leaf’s upcoming classes and activities, including “Go Foods for Fitness” on Earth Day, April 22 (taught by Sandi Rechenmacher), at newleaf.com/events.

Contact information: New Leaf Westside branch, 1101 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-1306

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Restaurants gather for Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center

2010’s Soupline Supper – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

2010’s Soupline Supper – credit to Red Bat Photography via Soupline web site

The community is invited to eat unlimited soup from dozens of local restaurants, caterers, and other food businesses on Thursday April 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to benefit Santa Cruz’s Homeless Services Center.

The 16th Annual Soupline Supper benefit is at the Cocoanut Grove at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. For $30 per person or $55 for two, you receive soup, salad bread, and dessert. Kids’ tickets are $15. As the event tagline says, you can simultaneously “Feed Your Family. Feed Your Community. Feed Your Philanthropy.”

More than 40 participating restaurants in 2015’s Soupline include new participants Assembly, Tramonti, Cremer House, and The Hideout, plus past participants The Art Bar & Cafe at the Tannery, The Bagelry, Bittersweet Bistro, Café Cruz, Chaminade, Charlie Hong Kong, Crow’s Nest, Dharma’s, India Joze, La Posta, Manuel’s, Sawasdee, Shadowbrook, Soif, The Walnut Ave Café, and Zameen. See full restaurant list at souplinesupper.org/restaurants.

At the event there are different tables around the perimeter of the room, all with large containers of homemade soup, with about a dozen available at any one time (selections rotate throughout the evening). Attendees walk around and choose which ones to sample. Public officials and other community leaders serve the soup. This year’s “Celebrity Ladlers” include local politicians David Terrazas, Cynthia Chase, and John Leopold; pastor Rene Schlaepfer (Twin Lakes Church), business owner Larry Pearson (Pacific Cookie Company), and arts leader Nina Simon (Executive Director MAH).

There are lots of tables set up in the dining room where you can relax and enjoy your meal. There is also a raffle and silent auction. Buy tickets and read more information online at the site souplinesupper.org.

Free parking after 4 pm is available at the Boardwalk lot across from the Cocoanut Grove.

The Homeless Services Center is a community-supported non-profit organization dedicated to the coordinated provision of services for homeless persons. The goal of the Homeless Services Center is to provide both emergency and transitional services to homeless individuals that will enable clients to achieve self-sufficiency.

If you’re on Twitter, please follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Monterey and Carmel restaurants and bars offer tax day relief

Idaho Trout with herb vinaigrette and sauté of Brussels sprout leaves, cauliflower and new potatoes (recent dinner entrée at Rio Grill, which is offering two lunch entrée discounts on April 15) Photo credit: Rio Grill Facebook page

Idaho Trout with herb vinaigrette and sauté of Brussels sprout leaves, cauliflower and new potatoes (recent dinner entrée at Rio Grill, which is offering two lunch entrée discounts on April 15)
Photo credit: Rio Grill Facebook page

If you’re feeling the crunch from paying your taxes, you can get some relief at three Monterey and Carmel restaurants and bars offering tax day specials on food and drinks.

  • From 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tarpy’s Roadhouse in Monterey and Rio Grill in Carmel are each serving two lunch specials for $10.40 each. The entrees are not being announced ahead of time. Also, customers that purchase these “1040” specials can enter their business card in drawings to win $50 restaurant gift cards.
  • Knuckles Sports Bar, at the Hyatt Regency Monterey, is serving up $10.99 burgers and $4.15 draft domestic beers. They are open from 4 to 11 p.m.

See below for locations and contact info. If you’re unfamiliar with these restaurants, here are a few facts:

  • Tarpy’s Roadhouse Executive Chef Todd Fisher made a special guest appearance on TV’s The Today Show a few days ago. Since joining Tarpy’s in 2014, he has consistently delivered stellar, innovative food. The restaurant is in a beautiful 1917 stonehouse.
  • Rio Grill was voted “Best Carmel Restaurant” in the 2015 Monterey County Weekly readers’ poll. Executive Chef Cy Yontz creates delicious dishes; the restaurant’s most popular dish is house-smoked half chicken with mild-smoked chile butter.
  • Knuckles Sports Bar is a family-friendly venue that many refer to as the best sports bar in Monterey.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

The Details: Promotions valid Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Locations:
Tarpy’s Roadhouse is at 2999 Salinas Hwy, Monterey, 647-1444, tarpys.com
Rio Grill is at 101 Crossroads Blvd., Carmel, 625-5436, riogrill.com
The Hyatt Regency Monterey is at 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 372-1234, monterey.hyatt.com

Restaurants for Easter in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel

Santa Cruz's Chaminade is serving an Easter brunch buffet

Santa Cruz’s Chaminade is serving an Easter brunch buffet

Dining out on Easter is a great way to celebrate with friends or family or both, and Santa Cruz and the Monterey/Carmel areas have many restaurants offering special menus this Sunday.

Also see:

Happy Easter!

Santa Cruz
Chaminade

The Chaminade offers its annual Easter Brunch Buffet from 9am-3pm; the price is $55.95 (adults), $18.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. As of press time, it was nearly sold out. Selections include honey ham with Jack Daniels glaze; rosemary and garlic encrusted lamb leg; a seafood bar with teriyaki salmon, peel and eat prawns, and more; omelets made to order; and Belgian waffles with fresh berry compote. Additional highlights: gourmet salads, cheese ravioli, eggs florentine, chocolate fondue, and a sundae bar. There will be a special kids’ menu plus Easter egg hunts at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30 p.m., 1:30pm, and 2:30pm, appearances by the Easter Bunny, and face painting. Egg hunts are for hotel and dining guests only. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Sanderlings has a brunch buffet from 9 am to 2 pm; the price is $45.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids 2-12. Selections include prime rib; honey ham; Seascape benedict with crab cakes; BBQ pork ribs; whole roasted chicken; and mushroom ravioli. Salads include roasted beet-feta-arugula, spinach with avocado-walnuts, and Indian-spiced chickpea with cucumber, red onion, and more. Other highlights include cracked crab legs and a special kids’ menu.. Call (831) 662-7120 for reservations.
One Seascape Resort Drive (at Seascape Beach Resort), Aptos

Hyatt Carmel Highlands
At the Hyatt Carmel Highlands’ California Market, diners can start Easter brunch with a visit to the Bellini bar where staff will create custom sparkling wine drinks blended with fresh seasonal fruit purees. From there guests will order from the a la carte brunch menu, featuring signature items from the hotel’s new California Market all-day brunch menu. For the finale, guests are invited to the grand dessert buffet with Easter favorites.  Additionally, the hotel’s bunny concierge will be guiding young guests to a bunny petting zoo and Easter egg decorating station. Brunch entrée choices include frittata with cast iron baked egg whites, wild arugula, roasted tomatoes, and Nicasio Valley farmers cheese; brioche French toast with local berry compote and vanilla bean whipped cream; Cioppino with sautéed mussels, clams, local catch, squid ink linguini, spicy tomato broth, and grilled garlic bread; and Cobb salad with grilled chicken, smoked bacon, egg, avocado, blue cheese, tomatoes, and lemon-Dijon dressing. The cost is $49.99 per person, with seatings from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.–call 831- 622-5445.
Hyatt Carmel Highlands, 120 Highlands Drive, Carmel

Fandango
The restaurant is serving a special prix fixe Easter brunch ($38.85 for adults, $18.75 for kids 12 and under, seatings 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). Dishes include roast leg of lamb Provencal; honey glazed baked ham with Hawaiian sauce; grilled fresh salmon with Hollandaise; eggs benedict Florentine; salad with spinach, orange, bleu cheese, and walnuts; berry shortcake; and chocolate profiteroles. Call 831-372-3456.
223 17th St., Pacific Grove

Sardine Factory
The restaurant is serving a three-course $39 prix fixe menu, with seatings from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, plus a special selection of appetizers and savory entrees. For the prix fixe, guests receive a choice of soup or salad, a choice of three entrees including roast leg of Colorado lamb with port sauce, sautéed Salinas Valley spinach, and garlic mashed potatoes; and a choice of two desserts (Bananas Foster or Cherries Jubilee). Brunch specials include eggs steak benedict with filet mignon; eggs crab benedict; and Maine lobster hash with poached eggs. Call 831-373-3775 for info or reservations.
701 Wave St., Monterey

Tarpy’s Roadhouse
Tarpy’s is bringing back a signature cocktail for Easter: a strawberry hibiscus cooler with house infused strawberry gin, fresh lemon juice, and HUM hibiscus liqueur. Tarpy’s will be serving Easter brunch specials, and these items will become restaurant brunch stapes after Easter. Dishes will include steak & eggs with wood fired prime sirloin steak, crispy fingerling potatoes, bone marrow butter basted eggs and smoked onion jus ($22); Roadhouse French toast (country bread soaked in a whiskey custard with a huckleberry compote and candied pecan butter, $16); and oxtail hash and eggs with braised oxtail, fingerlings and caramelized pearl onions on pimento cheese grits with red eye hollandaise ($19). For kids, Tarpy’s is offering free coloring sheets, stickers and crayons to enjoy during their Easter meal. Call 831-647-1444 for reservations.
2999 Monterey Salinas Highway, Monterey

TusCA Ristorante
The Easter brunch buffet ($40 for adults, $15 for kids over 5, free for kids under 5, seatings from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) will include a cage-free omelet and waffle station; natural smoked bacon; chicken sausage; eggs benedict; sliced fresh fruit; salads such as local watermelon salad with feta and fresh squeezed lemon juice and spring quinoa salad; and a carving station that includes honey and tangerine glazed Easter ham and herb and pepper encrusted carved beef. There will also be entrees including seared salmon with spring tomato and cucumber dill crudo and butternut squash ravioli with toasted hazelnuts and black kale, and a dessert table with cream puffs, chocolate-dipped strawberries, fruit tarts, mini cheesecakes, and more. Call 831-657-6675.
Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Passover & Easter food in Capitola: Gayle’s Bakery & Whole Foods

wfm capitola easter

Sweet Easter treats at Whole Foods Market Capitola – photo courtesy of WFM Capitola Facebook page

It’s Passover and Easter this weekend and there are lots of restaurants and stores to pick up a feast if you want to celebrate either occasion at home—here are a couple Capitola options.

Whole Foods Market Capitola

  • Easter: a la carte selections include deviled eggs, quiche, and two-bite frittata platters. There are also complete dinners available, such as the build-your-own Easter dinner ($119.99). It serves eight and comes with your choice of entrée and two sides plus Spinach Strawberry Salad, Cream of Asparagus Soup, and Hot Cross Buns. Entrée choices are spiral cut honeyed ham, sous vide rosemary garlic leg of lamb, and poached salmon. Side choices include roasted creamer potatoes with caramelized leeks.
  • Passover: Whole Foods is offering a build-your-own Passover dinner ($119.99). It serves eight and comes with your choice of entrée and two sides plus Matzoh Ball Soup, Pistachio Pinot Noir Charoset, and Arugula with Smoked Trout & Fennel Salad. Entrée choices are classic braised beef brisket, sous vide leg of lamb, and roasted organic Mary’s chicken. Side choices include potato leek latkes with apple chutney and Yukon gold and caramelized onion ‘kugel.’

1710 41st Ave. Capitola, 464-2900, online ordering at wholefoodsmarket.com/shop/CAP

Gayle’s Bakery

  • Easter: This year’s Easter a la carte selections include deviled eggs, quiche, rosemary roasted potatoes, and hot cross buns (with raisins, candied orange peel, and icing). They also offer Easter dinner, which is available for pick-up after 10 a.m. Saturday, April 4. It includes ham with citrus spice glaze, potatoes au gratin, lemon asparagus, and butterflake rolls (serves 1: $16.95, serves 2: $35, serves 4-5: $85, serves 8-10: $160). These dinner items are also available a la carte. Special Easter desserts include Bunny Parade carrot cake, Strawberry Basket cake, and triple chocolate egg cake. The first two are $25 and the latter is $34. Individual Easter pastries include Easter cupcakes ($3.25) and chocolate brownie eggs ($4.25).
  • Passover: They are offering a classic Passover beef brisket dinner ($17.95) with zucchini & potato latkes, honey glazed carrots and lemon asparagus and haroset, plus matzo ball soup. These dinner items are also available a la carte. All will be available on Friday, April 3, cold at noon and hot at 4 p.m. The matzo ball soup (with Gayle’s own chicken broth, chicken, carrots and scallions—a la carte for $7.50) will be available for a week, from April 3-10. Desserts include macaroons (coconut or new chocolate hazelnut, $1.95 each) and lemon almond ricotta torte ($20.95).

504 Bay Ave. Capitola, 462-1200, gaylesbakery.com

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Restaurants for Easter in San Francisco and the East Bay

Top of the Mark in San Francisco is serving an Easter Brunch bruffet

Top of the Mark in San Francisco is serving an Easter Brunch buffet

Dining out for Easter 2015? It’s this coming Sunday; here are some restaurant highlights for San Francisco and the East Bay.

San Francisco Restaurants
A16

A16 will host a festive Easter brunch and dinner featuring with creations from Executive Chef Rocky Maselli. For brunch, A16 will offer the restaurant’s regular a la carte menu plus traditional Italian Easter staples like Verdetto. This is a dish from Bari in Italy’s Puglia region where young lamb is braised in white wine until tender; the sauce is thickened with a mixture of egg and grana padano, served with snap peas and English peas and shoots. A16 will be open from 11am-9pm. For more information on A16 San Francisco or to make reservations, visit www.a16sf.com or call 415.771.2216.
Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Top of the Mark Executive Chef Nenad Stefanovic presents the annual Easter buffet on Sunday, April 5. Guests will enjoy a selection of raw bar items, antipasto, salad, and small plates including roasted marinated beets, with goat cheese, walnut oil and roasted heirloom tomato gazpacho. Entrée selections include pesto marinated sliced strip loin of beef with potato timbers, jasmine tea demi; muscovy duck l’orange with roasted parsnip; and grilled dorado with white bean mash and tomato relish. Brunch favorites can be had at the omelet station and a build-your-own-buttermilk waffle station. Guests of Top of the Mark’s Easter brunch will enjoy entertainment by pianist Ricardo Scales, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Reservations can be made by calling InterContinental Mark Hopkins: 415.616.6940.  Easter brunch is served from 10am – 2pm; Adults are $119 and children between the ages of four and 12 are $59. Visit www.topofthemark.com.

Luce at the InterContinental San Francisco
Luce will feature an Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey is offering a selection of dishes including chilled poached prawns with a spicy cocktail sauce, herb & garlic roasted tenderloin of prime beef with au jus horseradish and salsa verde, and traditional brunch items such as french toast with banana and whipped cream. Pricing is $75 per person (including bottomless mimosas), $45 per child 4-12 years (4 and younger are free). This excludes tax and gratuity. The traditional Luce a la carte breakfast/brunch items will also be available Easter morning, but only until 10:45 a.m. Reservations can be made by calling 415.616.6566 or visiting opentable.com. Learn more about Luce at lucewinerestaurant.com.

Presidio Social Club
Presidio Social Club will be offering an Easter feast on Sunday, serving both brunch and dinner. Offerings include sea salt baked ham and roasted leg of lamb with spring vegetables.  You can top off the experience with wine, champagne, or specialty cocktails from the PSC Bar. Call 415.885.1888 for reservations. Learn more at presidiosocialclub.com.

Central Kitchen
Highlighting a traditional Easter feast, Central Kitchen invites patrons to celebrate Easter with a three-course family-style dinner for $65 per person featuring lamb. Guests are also welcome to enjoy Easter Brunch, offered from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Central Kitchen’s brunch menu features sweet and savory delights. From a Medjool date sticky bun to fried chicken benedict, and french toast bread pudding to the CK brunch burger, there is a wide array of dishes. Also available: seasonal Bellinis made with Mercat Cava, a beer float with Death and Taxes black lager, and fresh-squeezed mimosas. Reservations can be made at 415.826.7004 or opentable.com. Learn more at centralkitchensf.com.

OneUP
OneUP, located at the Grand Hyatt in SF in Union Square, is serving a 3-course prix-fixe Easter Brunch with a glass of champagne or mimosa for $60 per person.  Call 415-848-6187 or visit opentable.com for reservations. Learn more about the restaurant at hyatthotels.hyatt.com/corporate/restaurants/oneup/en/home.html.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge

A16 Rockridge in Oakland will offer special brunch and dinner offerings by Chef Rocky Maselli. For brunch, A16 will offer the restaurant’s regular a la carte menu plus traditional Italian Easter staples like Verdetto. This is a dish from Bari in Italy’s Puglia region where young lamb is braised in white wine until tender; the sauce is thickened with a mixture of egg and grana padano, served with snap peas and English peas and shoots. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.a16rockridge.com or call 510.768.8003.

FIVE
This Easter Sunday, join FIVE at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley for a special a la carte menu from chef Stéphane Tonnelier. Dishes include both savory and sweet items, such as duck confit and potato galette; crab omelette; orzo ‘mac and cheese;’ eggplant parmigiano soufflé, honey mustard glazed ham; and chocolate chip pancakes. Contact opentable.com or 510.225.6055 for reservations. Visit five-berkeley.com for details.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Pinot Paradise 2015 includes Santa Cruz wineries and restaurant fare

1913198_872377346159447_3910170126589229884_oSanta Cruz Pinot Noir lovers are in for a treat this weekend, as it’s the 11th annual Pinot Paradise (Saturday-Sunday March 21-22, 2015).

Brought to you by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, the main Saturday event is a “Pathway to Pinot Paradise” self-guided tour of wineries that produce Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir. These tickets are $25 and enable individuals to taste barrel samples of Pinot Noir at over 25 wineries, plus limited library wines at selected locations. Online ticket sales have ended, but you can buy Pathway tickets at any of the participating wineries on Saturday (see list below, followed by information on events for Sunday, March 22). See scmwa.com for more information and a map.

Many wineries will have special amenities and/or entertainment on Saturday. For example, Alfaro Family Vineyards will open at noon and have live flamenco/fusion guitar by Paul Renslow from 1-4pm. The Corralitos winery is dog- and child-friendly and will be pouring eight Pinots on March 21. Location: 420 Hames Road, (831) 728-5172.

Participating Pathway wineries:

  • Alfaro Family Vineyards
  • Bargetto Winery
  • Beauregard Vineyards
  • Big Basin Vineyards
  • Burrell School Vineyards & Winery
  • Cinnabar Winery
  • Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards
  • Dancing Creek Winery
  • House Family Winery
  • Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery
  • Left Bend Winery
  • MJA Vineyards
  • Nicholson Vineyards
  • Odonata Wines
  • Roudon-Smith Winery
  • Russian Ridge Winery
  • Savannah Chanelle Vineyards & Winery
  • Silver Mountain Vineyards
  • Silvertip Vineyards
  • Stockwell Cellars
  • Storrs Winery & Vineyards
  • Thomas Fogarty Winery
  • Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery
  • Wrights Station Vineyard & Winery

There are two Pinot-related events on Sunday, March 22, both held at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga:

The annual Pinot Paradise Technical Session featuring wine education takes place from 9am-noon. The session will discuss “Signature Elements: Defining Characteristics and Discerning Quality in Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir.” Speakers are Luke Sykora, senior editor and critic at magazine Wine & Spirits; and Dr. Gary Griggs, Professor of Earth Sciences at UCSC. Griggs’ research is focused on the coastal zone and ranges from coastal evolution and development. Tickets are $45.

The Grand Cruz Tasting is from 1:30-4:30pm and features Pinot Noir from 40 wineries paired with food from local restaurants and food vendors such as Bruno’s BBQ, Cin Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant, Paradise Beach Grille, Sid’s Smokehouse, and True Olive Connection.  Tickets are $85 for general admission or $100 for VIP entry (arrive one hour early, at 12:30 p.m.).

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

More Santa Cruz restaurant news highlights – March 2015

A couple weeks ago, I shared a few bits of restaurant news about venues in Santa Cruz and Aptos. There were a couple items that I meant to include, and then another item that I just learned, so I thought I’d do another post.

Meanwhile, if you missed the Feb 26 article, it’s here, and if you missed the recent news about ManresaBread (new Los Gatos location plus products available at Verve Coffee!), you can read that here.

Openings

La Gioconda opened on February 18. This is the former site of Main Street Garden & Café. In an email regarding the new business, the restaurant said that the new name reflects new Italian ownership, as “la Gioconda” means Mona Lisa. The owners also run pizzeria Tramonti in Santa Cruz’s Seabright neighborhood, and at La Gioconda they promise ‘Northern Italian contemporary cuisine, using 100% fresh and organic ingredients selected carefully from outstanding farmers, wineries, and food distributors.’ Dishes by Chef Luca Viara include zucchini soufflé, artichoke ravioli, and braised short rib ravioli. Learn more and see full menu at giocondarestaurant.com.

Location: 3101 N. Main St., Soquel, 831-477-9265

 

Thai Noodle House has closed, and At Thai Recipe took its place. The new restaurant opened February 13, and the chef has more than 20 years of experience. Dishes include seafood red curry with artichokes, spicy basil duck, pineapple fried rice, cashew chicken, grilled beef salad, and many vegetarian and vegan options. Flavored milk teas include taro, strawberry, almond/honey, and red bean, with or without boba. Their current web site is facebook.com/pages/At-Thai-Recipe/320456501485273.

Location: 2106A Mission St., Santa Cruz, 831-457-0238

 

Changes

In January, Cutesy Cupcakes expanded to a larger location in Scotts Valley and added frozen yogurt to its menu. The family-run business offers products including traditional, vegan, and gluten-free cupcakes. The original, smaller SV location had opened in December 2012. ALSO: the Cutesy Cupcakes shop in Capitola Mall, which opened in Spring 2014, has shuttered its doors. The family decided not to renew the lease, which ended Feb. 28. The website is cutesycupcakes.com but as of press time, the site hadn’t been updated to reflect that the Capitola Mall location has closed. An interesting bit of trivia: in 2013, Cutesy Cupcakes appeared on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.

Location: 245 Mount Herman Road, Scotts Valley, 831-430-9500

 

Special Promotion

Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant in Aptos is celebrating 50 years of business. The actual anniversary is March 15, 2015; to honor the memory of restaurant founders Manuel and Alice Santana, owners Leonardo and Patricia Santana are giving 50% of proceeds during the week of March 9–15 to local groups dedicated to causes that were close to the founders’ hearts. “We are very excited about achieving this milestone,” said Manuel and Alice’s son Leonardo. “Starting from when I was a young child, I saw how much it meant to my parents to give back to the community that supported them.” Read more at manuelsrestaurant.com. Here are the organizations receiving donations:

  • Monday, March 9: Homeless Services Center of Santa Cruz
  • Tuesday, March 10: Second Harvest Food Bank
  • Wednesday, March 11: Teen Kitchen Project
  • Thursday, March 12: Cabrillo College Visual, Applied and Performing Arts
  • Friday, March 13: Women’s Crisis Support – Defensa de Mujeres
  • Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15:  Proceeds will be divided equally among the 5 groups

Location: 261 Center Ave., Aptos, 831-688-4848

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Manresa inspires Los Gatos bread venue: products also available at Verve Coffee in Santa Cruz

Handcrafted, small batch products from ManresaBread  Photo credit: Joyce Oudkerk Pool

Handcrafted, small batch products from ManresaBread
Photo credit: Joyce Oudkerk Pool

ManresaBread opened its first retail storefront a couple weeks ago; inspired by the bread program at the two-Michelin-star restaurant Manresa, ManresaBread in Los Gatos offers hand-crafted, small batch breads and pastries by Manresa head baker Avery Ruzicka.

The hours are currently Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (or earlier if they sell out). The venue will eventually be open daily.

On March 1, Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters began providing customers with the opportunity to purchase ManresaBread pastries and breads at their three retail Santa Cruz/Capitola locations. As you may recall, ManresaBread was available in Santa Cruz via POPUP last fall.  ManresaBread continues to be available at the Campbell and Palo Alto farmers markets on Sundays.

Co-founded by Ruzicka, partner and Manresa chef/owner David Kinch and partner Andrew Burnham, the company will look to expand to other retail locations in the South Bay and eventually online sales. “Avery took the bread program at Manresa to the next level and being able to share that outside of the restaurant happened naturally for us,” says Partner David Kinch. “We grew from one to two farmers’ markets to the Santa Cruz popup and a brick and mortar was the next step. We’re excited to start out with a smaller scale retail space in Los Gatos and see where we go from there.”

ManresaBread focuses on hands-on techniques and high-quality ingredients. The retail shop stocks a rotating selection of breads and sweet and savory pastries including Manresa Levain, Sour Baguette, Pumpernickel Rye, Fruit and Nut Loaf, Polenta Whole Wheat, Red Fife Whole Wheat, Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake, Caramelized Apple Buttermilk Coffee Cake, Chocolate Brioche, Kale and Parmesan Scones, and more.

Ruzicka has a degree from the French Culinary Institute and experience working with Master Baker Ben Hershberger of Per Se Restaurant and Bouchon Bakery. “I love the whole process  of working with bread – cultivating the starter, tweaking a recipe, working with the dough, and using all of my senses to gauge if it’s time to bake,” he says.

Location: 276 N. Santa Cruz Ave., downtown Los Gatos, 408-402-5372

To follow ManresaBread on Twitter, see twitter.com/ManresaBread.
To follow me, see twitter.com/santacruzfoodie.

Evergreen San Jose New Leaf Community Market becoming New Seasons Market

Wendie Collie, New Seasons Market CEO, at a Portland store

Wendie Collie, New Seasons Market CEO, at a Portland store

In 2013, Portland-based New Seasons Market purchased New Leaf Community Markets—and now the first New Seasons in Northern California is becoming a reality. New Leaf’s “Evergreen” location in San Jose will become New Seasons Market Evergreen on March 14, 2015.

Beginning March 14, customers who visit the Evergreen store at 5667 Silver Creek Valley Rd. in San Jose will have access to all of New Leaf’s traditional natural and organic products, plus an additional 2,500 items.

For an entire week, there will be grand opening celebratory activities including free samples. This starts Saturday, March 14, with the main event: the Joseph George Middle School drum line will perform before and after a Bread Breaking Ceremony at 10 am. A Tasting Fair featuring many New Seasons vendors will take place from 10:30 am – 5 pm. Kids and families are invited to paint a tile for the store during the Community Mural Project from 10:30 am – 5 pm. There will be a drawing for a one free year of groceries and goodie bags for the first 100 customers following the ceremony. See end of article for the remainder of the week’s schedule.

New Seasons, which launched in 2000, is an independently owned grocer operating 15 stores in the Portland-Vancouver area. New Seasons was the first grocer in the world, and New Leaf the second, to become certified B Corporations, which recognize businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility.

“We are thrilled to bring the neighborhood grocery experience to the Evergreen community,” said Wendy Collie, President/CEO of New Seasons Market. “By that we mean offering our customers a wider variety of product choices, expanding the number of local food producers we work with, providing the friendliest service, and collaborating with community partners to increase their positive impact.“ The Evergreen store will partner with, and provide financial support to, the Evergreen School District and Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Ten percent of profits each year will be donated to local non-profits.

Customers can attend weekly wellness lectures and cooking classes in the new Evergreen community classroom. Every day, the Solutions Center offers meal ideas and free samples of treats and “Local Finds”—products made by small local food artisans, crafters and growers. Wine or craft beer tastings and food pairings will be offered every Friday from 5–7 pm. And veterans and seniors will receive 10 percent off most items on Veterans Tuesdays and Senior Wednesdays. Store hours are 8 am – 9 pm daily.

To learn more about New Seasons, visit newseasonsmarket.com.
For more information on New Leaf, see newleaf.com.

Location: 5667 Silver Creek Valley Rd, San Jose, 408-513-8200

March 15-22 Event Schedule at New Seasons Evergreen

  • Sunday, March 15: Tasting Fair from 10:30am-5pm with many New Seasons vendors, free
  • Monday, March 16: Gluten Free Store Tour highlighting customer favorites from 2 pm – 3 pm, free (RSVP to Lana.Sumati@newseasonsmarket.com)
  • Tuesday, March 17: For St. Patrick’s Day, a pop-up green smoothie bar will be blending healthy green drink samples from 11am-3 pm, and traditional Irish fare such as corned beef and cabbage will be served at the Hot Bar.
  • Wednesday, March 18: New Seasons Market Store Tour: who we are and what we’re about. Free samples and goodie bags included, 11 am – 12 pm, free (RSVP to Lana.Sumati@newseasonsmarket.com)
  • Thursday, March 19: Kid’s Craft Corner in the Community Classroom: drop your kids off for a fun activity while you shop from 2:30-4:30 pm, free
  • Friday, March 20: Wine Tasting and Food Pairing from 5-7 pm, complimentary
  • Saturday and Sunday, March 21 & 22: Wellness sale features free samples, Q&A with nutrition experts and 20 percent off all vitamins, supplements and body care products.

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