Category Archives: Cooking & Chefs

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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February at New Leaf includes Valentine themes & classes for kids and families

Decorate Valentine cookies with the family at New Leaf Community Markets

Decorate Valentine cookies with the family at New Leaf Community Markets. Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has several events in February including Valentine’s classes and workshops for kids and families. 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.

 

Thursday, Feb. 9

Chocolate Creations

Ayurvedic practitioner and chef Talya Lutzker will introduce attendees to a spectrum of delectable chocolate desserts. You will learn “how the taste of sweet is of great benefit to the body, mind and spirit” and discover a “world of good-for-you sweet foods you may not have thought of before.” Plus, learn how to make your own delicious chocolate confections from scratch.

Time & Cost: 6:30–9pm, $40/Two for $70

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chocolate-creations-tickets-30307158527

 

Friday, Feb. 10

Kids’ Class: Valentine Cookie Decorating Workshop

For ages 8 and up: drop your kids off for a fun workshop led by Kristen Valenza of Living Roots Food and Floral. Valenza will provide homemade sugar cookies made from organic ingredients, and kids get to decorate with an assortment of toppings.

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $35

Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/valentine-cookie-decorating-workshop-for-kids-tickets-30314128374

 

Sunday, Feb. 12
Family Class: Mommy/Daddy & Me Valentine Cookie Decorating Workshop

This class with Kristen Valenza is for Moms or Dads and their little ones ages 3-6. Families will decorate an assortment of Valentine’s Day cookies made from organic ingredients, then take home a box of creations to give away as gifts–or eat themselves!

Time & Cost: 1–3pm, $45 for one adult & one child, $30 each additional child

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mommydaddy-me-valentine-cookie-decorating-workshop-tickets-30314804396

 

Tuesday, Feb. 21

For Seniors: Tuesday Talk & Tea on Heart-Healthy Foods

While you enjoy tea and snacks, you can learn which heart-healthy foods are high in antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The session is led by Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian.

Time & Cost: 12–1pm, Free (but registration required)

Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tuesday-tea-for-seniors-heart-healthy-foods-tickets-30236352745

 

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December classes at New Leaf Community Markets include gingerbread houses for kids and free health lectures

Kids can make gingerbread houses at New Leaf on Dec. 9

Kids can make gingerbread houses at New Leaf on Dec. 9

New Leaf Community Markets has a few lectures and classes this month. 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.

 

If you want to plan ahead, check out their site for lots of enticing offerings in January. These include a free series of Monday afternoon nutrition workshops beginning Jan. 9 (January Jumpstart: 4 Weeks to Healthier Eating with Holistic Nutritionist Madia Jamgochian), a paella class (Thurs. Jan. 26, $45 or two for $80, includes wine) and a “one-pot Ayurvedic soups and stews” class with Ayurvedic Practitioner Talya Lutzker (Tues Jan. 31, $45 or two for $80).

 

Friday, Dec. 9

Kids’ Class: Gingerbread House Making Workshop

For ages 8 and up: drop your kids off for a fun, creative hands-on workshop led by Kristen Valenza, founder of Living Roots Food and Floral. They will create houses from scratch using organic ingredients, and take home their masterpieces.

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $35/Two for $60

 

Tuesday, Dec. 13

For Seniors: Tuesday Tea with Holiday Spice

Join us for tea time and discover how spices add more than flavor to your recipes. Full of antioxidants and potent antimicrobials, you may be surprised to find out what your spice rack has in store.
Time & Cost: 12–1pm, Free

 

Thursday, Dec. 15
Supporting Your Immune System through Winter

Herbal storyteller Tom Dadant will give a lecture on how to support your body’s primary immune system naturally with beneficial herbs and nutrients. Dadant is a National Educator for Planetary Herbals.

Time & Cost: 6–7pm, Free

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Santa Cruz restaurant Assembly announces new executive chef Jessica Yarr

Jessica Yarr is now executive chef at Assembly Photo credit: Carolyn Kelley

Jessica Yarr is now executive chef at Assembly
Photo credit: Carolyn Kelley

Beginning this week, Jessica Yarr is Executive Chef at downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Assembly (1108 Pacific Ave., 831-824-6100).

 

For the last few months, Yarr has been collaborating with The Glass Jar, the restaurant group founded by Kendra Baker and Zachary Davis, on a number of events and projects. These included the Meander San Lorenzo River Dinner, Assembly’s participation in the Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market pop-up breakfast series this summer, Assembly’s participation in the Big Sur Food and Wine Festival a few days ago, plus the pastry chef direction of The Penny Ice Creamery.

 

Santa Cruz Weekly named Yarr “Best Pastry Chef of Santa Cruz” in 2010. She has been serving as pastry chef at The Glass Jar since departing as Head Chef of Mint in Scotts Valley earlier this year. A graduate of Portland, Oregon-based Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Yarr’s goal at Assembly is to continue building a sense of community utilizing elements including passion and attention to detail.

 

“I will strive to create a menu that tells the story of Santa Cruz and Central California,” says Yarr. “Ultimately, we are here to nourish ourselves and our community.”

 

Yarr will be working with Assembly’s Sous Chef Trent Lindgren, who has been directing the kitchen at Assembly since previous Executive Chef Carlo Espinas returned to San Francisco earlier this year.

Davis and Baker are thrilled to welcome Yarr to this new role. “With Jessica’s help we are trying to stand on the shoulders of giants,” says Davis. “Theo’s, Gabriella Cafe, Jessica has worked integrally at the well-loved restaurants that are foundational to the best of Santa Cruz dining.”

 

 

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Fun October class topics at New Leaf Community Markets include apple butter, candy apples, tapas & wine pairings

Drop the kids off at New Leaf to learn how to make candy apples with organic toppings Photo credit: New Leaf

Drop the kids off at New Leaf to learn how to make candy apples with organic toppings
Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has lots of cooking classes this month, including many with autumn-related themes (apple butter anyone? Yum). Here are a few highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Saturday, Oct. 15

Apple Butter and Jam Making Workshop

Learn how to make easy and delicious apple butter and seasonal fall jam with Home Chef Lisa Bono using natural sweeteners. This class will cover equipment, ingredients, canning methods and storage. Take home two jars of your own creation.
Time & Cost: 2–4pm, $25.

 

Thursday, Oct. 20
Date Night: Spanish Tapas and Wine Pairing

New Leaf invites you to sign up with your sweetheart and work together to create a variety of tasty Spanish-style tapas while sipping wine with Chef Kristen Valenza and Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian. Classic tapas ingredients that may be used include Marcona almonds, manchego cheese, prociutto, chorizo, shrimp and eggplant.

Time & Cost: 6–8:30pm, $85 for two people.

 

Friday, Oct. 28

Kids’ Class: Candy Apple & Marshmallow Making

Drop your kids off for class and they will make candy apples using a variety of organic toppings while enjoying homemade ginger soda, while you can enjoy a date night.
Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $25.

 

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Alpine cheese night Tuesday Sept. 13 at Whole Foods Market

Gruyere is one of the Alpine-style cheeses featured at Cheese Night Sept. 13 Credit: Whole Foods Market

Gruyere is one of the Alpine-style cheeses featured at Cheese Night Sept. 13
Credit: Whole Foods Market

Attention cheese lovers: there is a cheese night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Whole Foods Market stores across the country; this includes the local Santa Cruz and Capitola stores as well as locations in the South Bay and San Francisco Bay.

Customers are invited to visit for free samples, and each store will have an expert or Certified Cheese Professional available to talk about characteristics and flavor profiles of Alpine-style cheeses and answer questions. They will have cooking tips, too.

A market spokesperson shared that Alpine-style cheeses melt better than any other cheese and are great for cooking, and that in general, these cheeses are nutty and salty with flavors of hay and/or caramel. Most pair well with white wines like viognier, reisling, or pinot grigio. Some of the cheeses at the Sept. 13 event include:

 

  • Kaltbach Le Gruyère: Made in Switzerland, this cheese is matured for 12 to 16 months and is washed regularly with brine. Flavors are complex, ranging from caramel, nuts, notes of mushroom, hay and fruit, and crunchy, salty granules add an extra boost of flavor.
  • Emmentaler: This famous cheese – the Swiss with the holes – has been in production for 400 years in the valley of the Emme. It has a buttery, delicate and nutty taste.
  • Le Marchel: Handmade in the mountains of Vaud by Jean-Michael Rapin and his sons since 1992, La Marchel has the distinctive aroma of hay, and herbs impart a very rustic and savory flavor.
  • Pavino: Exclusive to Whole Foods Market, this Alpine-style cheese is made in Wisconsin but stands up to any made in the Alps. It is nutty, fruity, and robust with a sweet milky finish, and is also sprinkled with crunchy salt crystals.
  • Kalthbach Alpine Extra: Aged in caves located on the edge of the Wauwiler Moos area in the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland, this award-winning, raw-milk, semi-hard cheese offers a tangy aroma and complex flavor.

 

Joe Kaulbach, who oversees the cheese program for Whole Foods Market Northern California and Reno, explains the origin of this popular style: “Imagine, hundreds of years ago: small families are scattered across the rural Alps. One family has four cows; another has eight, another has 20. The cows are all roaming in the mountains; the families all need their cows milked and need to make cheese. So, traditionally the men went up into the mountains, built a hut, lit a fire from surrounding firewood, and put a copper cauldron on it. They would make ‘cooked pressed cheese,’ which was a new style of cheese in the 13th century: they’d cook the curds, press them into a form, and make wheels. At the end of the summer–and this still happens today–the cheese makers come down from the mountains with their cheese and their cows in a gorgeous pageant called the Transhumance. Then, they send the cheese to market. This is what provides their living for the year.”

 

Here are some related recipes that Whole Foods Market is highlighting for this event:

Swiss Family Sandwich

Turkey, Tomato, and Emmentaler Breakfast Sandwiches

Pizza with Le Gruyère and Prosciutto

Classic Le Gruyère Fondue

Celery Root and Potato Gratin

Butternut Frittata with Sage and Gruyère

San Francisco WFM locations are teaming up with Sur La Table to invite customers to cook with Alpine-style cheeses. The companies are giving away a Le Creuset fondue set and Breville panini press via the @wholefoodsmarketsf Instagram account. Users can follow the channel and tag a friend on relevant posts to enter to win.

Local Store Details

  • Whole Foods Market Santa Cruz is at 911 Soquel Ave. Call (831) 426-9901 for more information.
  • Whole Foods Market Capitola is at 1710 41st Ave. Call (831) 464-2900 for more information.

 

For more Whole Foods Market locations, see the store locator.

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August cooking classes at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz

Learn about gluten-free baking with apples at a New Leaf cooking class Photo credit: New Leaf

Learn about gluten-free baking with apples at a New Leaf cooking class
Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has a lot of interesting cooking classes coming up this month. In addition, they have a few “tasting events” and nutrition/education lectures; some of these are free. Here are a few highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Tuesday, August 16: All About Apple Gluten-Free Baking
Learn how to utilize gluten-free grains and flours in delicious, gluten-free apple recipes. Nutrition Consultant Stephanie Horning will also teach you how specific ingredients support your health.

Time & Cost: 6–8:30pm, $35 per person/$60 for two.

Thursday, August 18: Summer Pies and Galettes
Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian will teach students how to assemble a pie crust from scratch and create delicious pies and galettes. Teams of 3 will prepare three different fillings: peach, rhubarb and blackberry.

Time & Cost: 6pm–8:30pm, $35 per person/$60 for two.

Monday, August 22: Mushrooms for Mind, Body and Heart
Discover which mushrooms improve immunity, lung function, brain function, athletic performance, the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and the whole body, with Host Defense National Science Educator Gina Rivers Contla.
Time & Cost: 6:30pm–7:30pm, Free (pre-registration required).

Thursday, August 25: California Wine and Food Pairing
WSET-Certified Kristen Valenza will share how to properly pair different California varietals with local and seasonal farm-fresh cuisine. The class will include several wine and food pairings.

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $40 per person/$70 for two.

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Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets Pop-Up Breakfast Series tickets on sale

Food at a 2015 farmers’ market pop-up breakfast

Food at a 2015 farmers’ market pop-up breakfast. Photo credit: Carolyn Lagatutta

Credit: Carolyn Lagatutta

Tickets are on sale for the entire 2016 season of pop-up breakfasts at the Westside Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley farmers’ markets. The first event is the morning of Saturday, May 28 at the Westside market with chef Kevin Koebel of Local FATT—see menu below. There is limited seating; $37 tickets are available for purchase online and at the markets.

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.

2016 Pop-Up Breakfast Dates and Chefs:

Scotts Valley market

Westside market

Full menus will be posted on the web site as events draw closer.

Santa Cruz’s Food, What?! youth empowerment program graduates provide service at the events, which begin at 9:30 a.m. Attendees choose their seats by placing their own plates and silverware at spaces along u-shaped, family-style tables. At 10 a.m., plates of seasonal cuisine made with ingredients sourced from the markets begin rolling out. 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 at each breakfast.

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.
May 28 Pop-Up Breakfast Menu

  • PAN GRIDDLED WALNUT-VANILLA BEAN FRENCH TOAST with Strawberry-caramelized sugar compote and crème fraiche
  • LATE SPRING SAVORY SALAD: micro greens with prosciutto di parma carpaccio, crispy leek and savory Tuile
  • GRILLED WILD SALMON FILET BRIOCHE WITH FARM EGG AND GREENS served with a duo of lemon chutney and cilantro chutney
  • SPRING VEGETABLE CADEAUX (bundle) wrapped in sweet leek, roasted and served with Meyer lemon-local sea salt beurre blanc sauce
  • SWEET FINISH Champagne syrup macerated fruit gratin
  • TASTY BEVERAGES COURTESY OF Lulu Carpenter’s Coffee

Read more about the Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets.

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A few April classes—and class discount—at New Leaf Community Markets

Learn how to make superfood energy balls at a New Leaf cooking class

Learn how to make superfood energy balls at a New Leaf cooking class

New Leaf Community Markets has announced a bunch of classes for April and May, and it’s offering a discount: 10% off any class that costs more than $20 (except series). To receive the discount, use promo code SPRING10. The organic, community market urges readers who are amateur chefs to sign up today and “Unleash your kitchenthusiasm” (New Leaf’s theme for April). Another reason to be enthusiastic at New Leaf? The sustainably farm-raised Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon is $3 off during April. Verified by FishWise as a “Best Choice,” this fish is free of hormones and antibiotics and raised in the pristine waters of New Zealand.

Below are a few cooking class highlights for April; these are all at the Westside location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306). ALSO: Another interesting event – not a cooking class – is an opportunity to learn about reducing your impact on the environment. On Friday, April 15 at 7pm, for only $5 (no discount for this one), people can attend “Zero Waste Lifestyle: Reduce Your Eco Footprint.” New Leaf’s Eva Pollard, founder of “thekindplanet.com,” will explain how and why she lives a zero-waste life by not creating trash or using plastic. Eva will show how everyone can reduce their trash footprint and teach about the benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle. Attendees are encouraged to “bring an open mind and heart, as well as your own cup.”
Preregistration http://newleaf.com/events/ is required.

Spring Dips & Dressings – April 13
Nutrition consultant and chef Madia Jamgochian teaches this class. If you love eating fresh salads, but sometimes lack the inspiration for making a tasty dressing, New Leaf encourages you to attend this class. Learn how to prepare yourself for the week by whipping up several different types of healthy salad dressings and dips that will “keep you reaching for the veggies.” Each attendee will get to take home recipes and a small jar of dressing made in class. Preregistration is required.
Cost is $25 or $40 for 2 before discount. Wednesday, April 13, 6-8 p.m.

Pickling Workshop – April 16
Home Chef Lisa Bono leads this hands-on workshop. Attendees will learn how to make classic pickles and pickle other kinds of veggies using vinegar, sugar and spice. The class will cover pickling and food preserving basics: equipment, technique, ingredients, storage, and recipes. You’ll leave class with a few jars of your own creations and the knowledge to start pickling at home. No experience necessary. Preregistration is required.
Cost is $25 before discount. Saturday, April 16, 2:30-4pm.

Superfood Energy Balls – April 20
Goji berries, lecithin, bee pollen, lacuma and chocolate are all nutrient-dense superfoods. Join the Westside New Leaf’s Wellness Specialist Sundari Lauren in this hands-on cooking class. Using nuts, fiber, good carbs, protein and healthy fats as a base, participants will create a variety of flavor packed treats and take home a box of their final products. Learn new recipes and experiment with making your own unique favorite. Preregistration is required.
Cost is $25 or $40 for two before discount. Wednesday, April 20, 6-7:30pm.

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