Category Archives: Benefits

Santa Cruz Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Local gifts, part 7

Goodies from Cheese Shop 831
Photo courtesy of Cheese Shop 831

Welcome to the final installment—part 7—of my holiday foodie gift guide with information for several local businesses if you have some last-minute shopping to do. Contact me at tara@santacruzfoodie.com with questions or comments.

Also see:

Gift guide part 1

Gift guide part 2

Gift guide part 3

Gift guide part 4

Gift guide part 5

Gift guide part 6

Note: some past installments include events that have taken place, but they also mention local businesses you can still support!

I wanted to mention one non-food-related idea: there are so many wonderful artists in our County, and some rely on the annual Open Studios event to bring in a significant part of their income. Due to the pandemic, OS could not take place this year. The sponsoring organization—Arts Council Santa Cruz County—launched a great “curated directory” website to showcase visual artists and provide easy opportunities to support these creative individuals. Visit the Visual Artists Network website at visualartsnetworkscc.com.

My mother, Fereshteh Fatemi, is one of these artists—a talented jeweler—and she’s donating 10% of her sales through Christmas to Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County.

Speaking of Second Harvest Food Bank, another gift idea is to make a donation to them in honor of someone that you care about. This year, more than ever, people are relying on SHFB for food. The organization distributes over eight million pounds of food each year to children, families, vets and seniors in Santa Cruz County.  More than half of the residents they serve are kids. Traditionally, every dollar donated provides four healthy meals to someone in need. Right now, thanks to a challenge grant from the COVID-19 Local Response Fund at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, donations are being matched so your dollars are having a double effect.

Here are a few more gift possibilities:

Captiola’s Brown Ranch Marketplace (the center with Trader Joe’s) recently welcomed the store Cheese Shop 831. Owner Jillian Pirolo was supposed to open her business several months ago but got delayed due to the pandemic. I’ve been told by one friend who shopped there that they have amazing cheese—including local, regional and international varieties—and I’ve seen on Instagram @cheeseshop831 that they have other products like olive oil, handmade cheese boards, truffle hot sauce, towels and oven mitts. Visit cheeseshop831.com.

Aptos gift shop Hammond Glass Engraving & Gifts is open by appointment from Tuesday through Saturday. They carry items like Christmas mugs,  Spode mugs, wine glasses, high-ball glasses and serving dishes. The shop has been around for 30 years, and Jessie & David Campbell bought the business in 2018. I haven’t been there myself, but I hope to check it out post-holiday-season. Visit hammondaptos.com.

Five Star Catering put together a fun Local’s Gift Box; read more and purchase online. It supports eight local Santa Cruz area businesses affected by the pandemic including Mutari Craft Chocolate, Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company, Edith Meyer Wedding Cakes, and Magnolia Fine Gifts and Apothecary. They are even offering no-charge, no-contact SC County delivery. Visit fivestarcatering.com/holidayboxes.

Michelle Kneads Dough Monterey County is home to talented pastry chef Michelle Lee. A finalist on Food Network’s recent Halloween Baking Championship and a former staff member at restaurants including The C Restaurant+Bar at Intercontinental the Clement Monterey, Michelle found herself out of work due to the pandemic. She decided to get her cottage food permit and start doing pop-up “QuaranTreats.” I’ve enjoyed her food at The C and at special events, and also bought one of her yummy QuaranTreats and plan to buy more. I don’t know if she does gift cards for future treats, but just telling any “sweets fans” you know about her is a gift in itself! Visit Instagram.com/michelle.kneads.dough.

Lots of wineries and breweries are offering gift cards if you want to give your gift recipient the choice of what exactly they will receive. You can get contact info for many wineries at the Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains website. Visit winesofthesantacruzmountains.com/wineries.

A final list of stores & vendors (without going into too much detail I wanted to make sure and at least share a few more names):

Santa Cruz County

Counter Cultures Kitchen Visit IG @countercultureskitchen

El Salchichero Visit elsalchichero.com

Far West Fungi Visit farwestfungi.com/pages/santa-cruz

Farmer Freed Salts Visit farmerfreed.com

Itso & Notso Hot Sauce Visit makefoodhappy.com

Marini’s Candies Visit mariniscandies.com

Mountain Feed & Farm Supply Visit mountainfeed.com

Sushi Market Sprouts Visit Instagram.com/sushimarketsprouts

Monterey County

Carmel Honey Company Visit carmelhoneycompany.com

The Chef’s Stash (weekly local food boxes curated by chef and restaurateur Gabe Georis and chef Brandon Miller, with omnivore and pescatarian options). Visit thechefsstash.com.

Elroy’s Fine Foods Visit elroysfinefoods.com

Happy Girl Kitchen Visit happygirlkitchen.com

Jerome’s Carmel Valley Market Visit jeromescarmelvalleymarket.com

Other Brother Beer Visit otherbrotherbeer.com

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Gourmet Grazing on the Green benefits cancer research: enjoy lots of delicious food and wine

Attendees at a previous Grazing on the Green, photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group

The 16th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green—noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Aptos Village Park—is an always-fun annual celebration with more than 75 vendors including local restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries, and spirits distilleries. Proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG) .

 

Buy $65 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online or pay $70 at the door if it’s not sold out. Adult admission includes food, drinks and a souvenir wineglass. Designated driver tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Kids 10 and under are free; kids ages 10-20 are $35.

 

Longtime sponsors New Leaf Community Markets, Coke Farms and Watsonville Coast Produce generously donate lots of locally grown produce and products for chefs to create special tastes for event attendees.

 

Participating restaurants, food suppliers, food trucks, and other vendors include:

  • Alterra Solar
  • Ashby Confections
  • Ate3One
  • Back Nine Grill and Bar
  • Brew Dr. Kombucha
  • Café Cruz
  • California Lavash
  • Cantine Winepub
  • Cinnamon Bay Clothing
  • Cruise Coffee
  • Drink La Vie
  • East Side Eatery
  • Efi’s Dutch-indo Kitchen
  • Ella’s at the Airport
  • Fran Battendieri Designs
  • Friend in Cheeses Jam Co
  • Hollins House
  • Hula’s Island Grill
  • Judge Casey’s
  • K Dezynz Jewelry
  • Malone’s Grille Scotts Valley
  • Martinelli’s
  • McKella Jo
  • New Leaf Community Markets
  • Pacific Coffee Roasting Co.
  • Pure Valley Water
  • Sandbar Solar
  • Santa Cruz Fish Co.
  • Shadowbrook Restaurant
  • Smart Chicken
  • SunRidge Farms
  • The Crow’s Nest
  • The Turkey Boat
  • Vital Mystic
  • Watsonville Coast Produce
  • Whole Enchilada
  • Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine

Wineries, breweries and spirits include:

  • Alfaro Family Winery
  • Armitage Wines
  • Bargetto Winery
  • Bonny Doon Vineyard
  • Burrell School Vineyards
  • Carbonic Service
  • Discretion Brewing
  • El Vaquero Winery
  • Hallcrest Vineyards
  • Integrity Wines
  • Kathryn Kennedy Winery
  • Kings Mountain Vineyards
  • Lester Estate Wines
  • Loma Prieta Winery
  • MJA Vineyards
  • Muccigrosso Vineyards
  • Muns Vineyard
  • New Bohemia Brewing Co.
  • Pelican Ranch Winery
  • Roudon-Smith Winery
  • Sailing Shoes Wine
  • Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
  • Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard
  • Sante Arcangeli Family Wines
  • Scrumpy Hard Cider
  • Seabright Brewery
  • Sones Winery
  • Soquel Cider
  • Storrs Winery
  • Uncommon Brewers
  • Venus Spirits
  • Via Vega Winery
  • Villa Del Monte Winery
  • Wrights Station Winery

 

Proceeds from SCCBG’s events benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, researchers from UC Santa Cruz, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy.

 

Since 1995, SCCBG has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with cancer in the Santa Cruz community, by raising money to support beneficiary organizations and fund new research that will provide possible cures and better solutions for treating cancer. Just in the last decade, they have distributed more than $2 million to directly support the Santa Cruz community.

 

For more information on the event, see sccbg.org. Parking is limited at Aptos Village Park. There is free shuttle service every 15 minutes from Cabrillo College (parking lot K); parking is free. If you Uber, dropoff is at the top of the park.

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

 

Attendees at a previous Grazing on the Green, photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group

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Get tickets soon for A Taste of Santa Cruz on Oct. 18

Treats from Aldo’s Italian Bakery at the 2017 “A Taste of Santa Cruz” – Photo credit: ATOSC

The 14th annual “A Taste of Santa Cruz,” at the MAH from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, features about 20 participating restaurants and food vendors plus several wineries and one brewery. This year, organizers switched the celebration from November to October and moved the time earlier, to take advantage of warmer weather. The event benefits first-time home buyers. Tickets are $50 in advance or $55 at the door if it’s not sold out.

The cost includes a commemorative glass plus tastings from all vendors. Participants will have the opportunity to sample lots of food and drinks including a new raw oyster bar on the third floor (the refreshments are spread across all three floors, and there’s a wine bar at the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden where attendees can purchase extra glasses of wine). Buy tickets online, and visit atosc.com or call 831-464-2000 for more information.

Food vendors include Splash!, Five Star Catering, Aldo’s, Rosie McCann’s, Gordo Gustavo’s, Casa Nostra, East Side Eatery, The Jerk House, Hula’s Island Grill, Percy’s Pies, burger, Woodstock Pizza, H&H Fresh Fish Co., Shucked Raw Oyster Bar, Vinocruz, The Turkey Boat, Buttercup Cakes, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Marini’s Candies, and Back Nine Bar & Grill.

At the 2017 event, Splash! offered a tasty bite with house-smoked trout and tomato confit; Hula’s served up a delicious Hawaiian Ceviche (fresh whitefish cooked in citrus with coconut milk, chili, cilantro, and garlic), and Buttercup handed out their always-fantastic cupcakes.

Wineries include Alfaro Family Vineyard, Kissed by an Angel, Stockwell Cellars, Bargetto, Roudon Smith, 37th Parallel, DeVincenzi Cellars, McHenry Vineyard, and Loma Prieta. East Cliff Brewing Co. will be providing beer.

This year’s event is at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History for the second consecutive year, and Habit for Humanity Monterey Bay is a presenting partner for the second year in a row. There will be live and silent auctions. Live auction items include an eight-day unique Hawaii vacation that includes three different places to stay, a Jeep rental, restaurants, beach adventures and a massage. Silent auction items include wine tasting, and excellent tickets to the first 2019 pre-season game for the San Francisco 49ers.

All proceeds from the event benefit the grant assistance program of the Santa Cruz Association of Realtors Housing Foundation, which provides closing costs for first time, low-income home-buyers in Santa Cruz County. In 2017, the event sold out—for the first time ever!—and raised nearly $25,000. The Taste of Santa Cruz has raised almost $400,000 since its inception in 2004. 

Location: MAH, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz

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Eat soup Thursday & help Santa Cruz’s Homeless Services Center

A scene from the 2017 Soupline Supper (courtesy of Soupline web site)

Santa Cruz’s Homeless Services Center (HSC) invites the community to eat unlimited soup from dozens of local restaurants, caterers, and other food businesses from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at the Cocoanut Grove.

 

The 19th annual Soupline Supper assists HSC as it helps families and individuals in our community find safe, permanent homes. Last year’s dinner helped 249 people find a permanent home. For $50 per person, attendees receive soup, salad, bread, and dessert. Wine is available for an additional donation. Kids’ tickets are $20. Buy tickets online.

 

Participating restaurants in 2018’s Soupline include 99 Bottles, Assembly, The Bagelry, Café Cruz, Erik’s Deli, Gabriella Café, India Joze, Kelly’s French Bakery, La Posta, Manuel’s, Oswald, Shadowbrook, Soif, and Walnut Ave Café. See full restaurant list at souplinesupper.org/restaurants.

 

The usual set-up is this: 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 Mark Stone, Richelle Noroyan, Cynthia Chase, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, and John Leopold; and arts and community organization leaders such as Keisha Frost (United Way), Nan Mickiewicz (Dominican Hospital), Susan Nemitz (SC Public Library), Susan True (Community Foundation SC County) and Nina Simon (MAH).

 

Buy tickets and read more information online at souplinesupper.org.

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

HSC is a non-profit organization that partners with individuals and families to create pathways out of their homelessness into permanent housing. HSC’s vision is that homelessness in Santa Cruz County should be rare, brief, and non-recurring.

Event location: Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz

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Teen Kitchen Project: two brunch dates remain in series, plus new kids’ classes

A scene from TKP’s brunch benefit Sunday, March 25, in Aptos

Teen Kitchen Project has been running a brunch fundraiser series since March. There were two Sundays in March, then they skipped Easter, and now two Sundays remain — April 8 and 15. Entrees rotate each time and have included Huevos Rancheros with rice and beans; orange-zested thick cut French toast with spiced maple syrup; and broccoli cheddar quiche with country style sausage and home fries. There are two seatings each day, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m., and brunch takes place at TKP’s newly renovated teaching kitchen and café at 8061 Aptos St. Cost is $35 for adults and $15 for kids under 12. The TKP teens do the cooking and serving. Entrees include a basket of freshly baked goods at each table, plus coffee, tea and juice. My family and I dined with TKP on March 25, and thoroughly enjoyed the meal–from the delectable scones to scrumptious sausage, Chilaquiles and more! View menus and purchase online at teenkitchenproject.org/brunch.One hundred percent of proceeds benefit TKP.

TKP recently began offering cooking classes for kids ages 8 and up, for $35 each, and they are now expanding to offer a few for kids 5-8. At the first one for “littles” on Monday, April 30, kids will make pizza. “Teen Kitchen Project is excited to open our doors to aspiring chefs ages 5 and up who are interested in learning more about developing their culinary skills,” says founder Angela Farley. “We believe empowering young people with the knowledge and skills to prepare food from scratch is essential to accomplish our goal of building a healthier Santa Cruz County, one meal at a time.”

Topics for the older kids have included burgers, tacos and dumplings. During the 2-hour classes, kids work with other students in groups of two to four. There are also adult chefs and a teen helper present. At the end of class, participants get to eat the food they prepare. Monday and Wednesday classes are at the Aptos location (8061 Aptos St.), and Friday classes are at the Soquel location (2880 Research Park Dr.). Enrollment is limited. Visit the registration page at crm.fundly.com//6708/Pages/Events/#/.

For those unfamiliar with Teen Kitchen Project, executive director Angela Farley launched TKP in 2012 after her son was diagnosed with cancer. Farley decided she wanted to help other families affected by cancer, to at least attempt to decrease some of the pressure and feelings of being overwhelmed. Today, the organization regularly delivers 600-700 free, healthy meals for clients throughout Santa Cruz County who are in crisis due to illness.  Teen volunteers ages 13-18 prepare meals with the assistance of adult volunteers. The teens gain valuable skills as they volunteer. For more info, visit the web site teenkitchenproject.org.

 

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Enjoy delicious food & drinks at A Taste of Santa Cruz Thursday

The Point Chophouse serving food at a previous “A Taste of Santa Cruz,” Photo credit: A Taste of Santa Cruz, used with permission

The 13th annual “A Taste of Santa Cruz” (ATOSC) at the MAH on Thursday, Nov. 9, features more than 15 participating restaurants plus 16 wineries and two breweries. The event runs from 5:30-9 p.m. and benefits first-time home buyers. Tickets are $45 in advance or $55 at the door if it’s not sold out. The cost includes a commemorative glass plus tantalizing tastings from 30-plus vendors. Buy tickets online, or visit atosc.com or call 831-464-2000 for more information.

 

This year’s event is at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History for the first time, and attendees can enjoy the museum’s three floors of exhibits before or after their refreshments. There is also a “tasting garden” on the rooftop where attendees can purchase glasses of wine and beer and purchase wine to take home. All proceeds from the event benefit the grant assistance program of the Santa Cruz Association of Realtors Housing Foundation, which provides closing costs for first time, low-income home-buyers in Santa Cruz County. Also, Habit for Humanity Monterey Bay is collaborating with ATOSC this year.

 

Selected Bites at the Nov. 9 event

Splash!
Trout Bruschetta – House smoked trout with a tomato confit

Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
Two items: Ruben Rolls with corned beef on an egg roll with sauerkraut & dipping sauces, and traditional Irish Bangers

Persephone
Budino (savory Parmesan custard with balsamic glaze and fried sage)

Michael’s On Main
Two items: Smoked Pork Belly Sliders-Chipotle aioli, pickled slaw, crème fraiche on Hawaiian sweet rolls, and Spicy Tuna Spring Rolls with avocado, shitake mushrooms and wasabi mousse

Pour Taproom 

Maine Lobster Rolls (with fresh lobster flown in from Maine)

Hula’s Island Grill – Santa Cruz 
Hawaiian Ceviche with fresh white fish, cooked in citrus with coconut milk, chili, cilantro & garlic

The Turkey Boat

“Thanksgiving Dinner in a Bowl” and dessert

The Jerk House

Jerk House Wings  with sweet Hibiscus Glaze or Jerk Glaze plus Sweet Fried Plantains

Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting
Dessert Buffet of holiday treats and cupcakes

Other participating vendors include Akira, The Point Chophouse, Marini’s Candies (assorted chocolates), Aldo’s Santa Cruz, Percy’s Pies, Makse Bars, Oasis Tasting Room (El Salchichero cured meats and accompaniments), Woodstock Pizza and Cowboy Bar and Grill (pulled pork). Wineries include Alfaro Family Vineyards, Bargetto, Burrell School, Clos Tita, Equinox Wines & Bartolo Winery, Kings Mountain Vineyards, Loma Prieta Winery, McHenry Vineyard, Odonata Wines, Roudon-Smith Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Ser Winery, Villa del Monte Winery, Wrights Station Vineyard & Winery and 37th Parallel. Breweries are East Cliff Brewing Co. and Uncommon Brewers.

 

Other highlights at the event: live and silent auctions with items from local businesses and individuals. Prizes include stays at an oceanfront home in Aptos plus homes in Donner Lake, Puerto Vallarta and Maine; a wine lovers package; restaurant gift certificates; family-friendly activity tickets; shopping and wellness packages; and outdoor experiences.

Location: MAH, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz

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Casablanca Inn bazaar with food, drinks, art — plus benefit for Sonoma fire victims

Gordo Gustavos at Event Santa Cruz’s “Big Westside Block Party” in June (Photo credit Yvonne Rew-Falk)

Event Santa Cruz is hosting “Bazaar at the Casablanca Inn” this Friday night, Oct. 20, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

The all-ages event is at 101 Main St. in Santa Cruz. Admission is $1 at the door. Guests are encouraged to register at eventsantacruz.com.

Attendees can enjoy cocktails, craft beer from area breweries, local food, art, crafts, and more. Venus Sprits will be serving Moroccan Nights, a cocktail crafted just for this event.

Featured vendors include:
– Chuy Santa Cruz
– Coco Virostko (artist)
– Flora and Fauna
– Gordo Gustavos
– H&H Fresh Fish Company
– Lion and Lamb Studios
– MÄKSE BAR
– NotPie Cakery
– Peak Original
– Sleight of Hand Pizza
– Upcycled Skate Art
– Venus Spirits
– Verdant California
– Wetfeet Photography
Guests will have a chance to check out ESC’s first-ever car show: the “Event Santa Cruz’in.” Mobile businesses and unique rides are going to be featured, including:

– Brew Cruz’s “Slowboy”
– Ya Doggie
– Gordo Gustavos new food truck
– Tepui Tents
– Sandbar Solar & Electric

In addition, ESC is teaming up with Yoso Wellness Spa and Santa Cruz Socialites to “Gather for Sonoma.” Attendees are encouraged to bring items or dollars to donate in support of those impacted by the recent wildfires in Sonoma County. Blankets, sheets, personal hygiene items, new and lightly used clothing, new socks and underwear, diapers, baby bottles, and gift cards to stores like Safeway and Target will be appreciated and delivered. One hundred percent of the items and money will be provided to victims, evacuees and first responders.

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Feast for foodies & beer/wine lovers for cancer research

The 2017 Gourmet Grazing festival is October 7.

The 14th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green—Saturday, Oct. 7 at Aptos Village Park—features more than 75 vendors including local restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries, and spirits distilleries. Proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

The event is from noon to 4 p.m. Buy $65 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online or pay $70 at the door if it’s not sold out. Adult admission includes food, drinks and a souvenir wineglass. Kids 10 and under are free; kids ages 10-20 are $35.

Participating food, drink & other vendors  include:

Alfaro Family Vineyards
Armitage Wines
Bargetto
Bonny Doon
Burrell School Vineyards
Café Rio
Cantine Winepub
Comanche Cellars
Corralitos Brewing
Dustbowl Brewery
East Side Eatery
Efi’s Dutch-Indo Kitchen
Ella’s at the Airport
Fresh Prep Kitchen
Hollins House
Hula’s Island Grill
Integrity Wines
Kathryn Kennedy
Kings Mountain Vineyards
Krazy Farm Cider
Loma Prieta
Malone’s Grille
MJA Winery

Muccigrosso Vineyards
Muns Vineyards
New Bohemia Brewing Co
New Leaf Community Markets
Odonata Wines
Pelican Ranch
Real Good Fish
Roudon-Smith
Santa Cruz Fish Co
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Seabright Brewery
Scheid Family Wines
Shadowbrook Restaurant
Solaire Restaurant & Bar
Something to Taste
Soquel Cider
Storrs
Surf City Sandwich
The Crow’s Nest Restaurant
The Turkey Boat
Venus Spirits
Via Vega
Villa del Monte Winery
Whole Enchilada
Wrights Station Vineyards
Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine

Ashby Confections
Cinnamon Bay
Cowgirl Creamery
Fran Battendieri Jewelry
Friend In Cheeses
Goose Organics

Hive And Hum
K Deznyz Jewelry
La Vie Wellness

Notso Hot Sauce
Pacific Coffee Roasting
Pure Valley Water
Redwood Hill Farm

Sandbar Solar
Santa Cruz Fish Co
Skyros Ceramics
Smart Chicken
Sunridge Farms
Tomales Bay Foods

 

Proceeds from SCCBG’s events benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, researchers from UC Santa Cruz, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy.

 

For over 20 years, the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with cancer in the Santa Cruz community, by raising money to support beneficiary organizations and fund new research that will provide possible cures and better solutions for treating cancer. They have raised more than $22 million since 1995.

 

For more information on the event, see sccbg.org. Parking is limited at Aptos Village Park. There is free shuttle service every 15 minutes from Cabrillo College, where people can park for free.

 

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

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Saturday’s Taste of Soquel benefits Second Harvest

Bill and Dee Hongmanee of Sawasdee at a previous “A Taste of Soquel” event

The ninth annual “A Taste of Soquel,” benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank, takes place in the courtyard of the Congregational Church of Soquel Saturday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be lots of food, drinks and music at this family-friendly festival.

 

Attendees can enjoy food from restaurants and vendors HOME, The Kitchen at Discretion, El Chipotle Taqueria, Café Cruz, Bella Chi-Cha, Jeff Walls’ Family Honey, Aldo’s Italian Bakery, and Sawasdee Thai Cuisine. There will be fresh cider from Everett Family Farm, beer and wine from Discretion Brewing, Soquel Vineyards, Bargetto Winery, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, VinoCruz, Wargin Wines and Poetic Cellars.

See menu details  below.

 

There will be lots of live music, including The Carolyn Sills Combo and “members of the EXPENDABLES Unplugged.” Complimentary coffee will be served by The Ugly Mug, plus tea, lemonade, and more from The Bagelry, Driscoll’s and Donut Station. A kids’ area will feature free activities such as singing with Musical Me, face painting, drumming, art with CherryVale Art Farm, inflatable archery with Kennolyn Camp, and crafts with Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery. More than 50 local businesses participate in the raffle, featuring prizes such as store and restaurant gift certificates.

 

Tickets are $25 for adults (includes music, food, wine) and $10 for youth 12-20 (includes music, food). Kids under 12 are free. Call 831-475-2867 for details. Advance tickets are available at the church or online www.brownpapertickets.com.

 

During the past eight years the event has raised over $62,000, providing 250,000 healthy meals to families in need in Santa Cruz County. The Congregational Church of Soquel and the Capitola/Soquel Chamber of Commerce co-sponsor A Taste of Soquel. Learn more at tasteofsoquel.org.

 

A few selections at Taste of Soquel 2017

Aldo’s: Tiramisu and Lemoncello Bites; Assorted cookies

Bella Chi-Cha: Pesto Sauce; Cheese Spread

The Kitchen at Discretion: Sourdough Crostini, Strawberry Gastrique, Fresh Herbed Ricotta, Pickled Red Onions

Sawasdee: Papaya Salad; Orange Chicken Thai

El Chipotle: Fresh Chips, Guacamole and Red Salsa

Jeff Walls’ Family Honey: Sample honeys from a variety of floral sources their bees have worked including Soquel-Wildflower, Sage, Buckwheat, Pumpkin-Squash, Lima Bean, Tocalote Thistle & Vanilla (infused) Sage while checking out the observation hive where you can see the inner workings of a hive.

 

Bargetto                        Merlot and Pino Grigio

Soquel Vineyards       Trinity Rosso & Trinity Bianco

Hunter Hill                      2014 Merlot & 2013 Chardonnay

Poetic Cellars                2012 Cab Sauvignon & 2010 Pinot Noir

Wargin Wines               Sangiovese & Pinot Gris

Everett Family Farm      Soquel Cider

 

Location: Congregational Church of Soquel, 4951 Soquel Dr., Soquel

 

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Homeless Garden Project food events in Santa Cruz

Tomato, Thai basil & mozzarella bites will be available at HGP’s Pop Up Store Sept. 1. Photo credit- HGP Facebook page

Homeless Garden Project has two Santa Cruz events coming up that sound positively delicious.

 

Friday, Sept. 1, 5:30-8 p.m.: Tomato & Friends HoeDown

Homeless Garden Project invites the community to its Pop Up Store for a “taste of the Farm.” Attendees can taste—fresh from the vine—goodies like tomatoes, tomatillos and padron peppers. There will also be special treats created by HGP’s Enterprise Manager, Angie Smith, including tomato, Thai basil & mozzarella bites and blistered padrons with avocado crema. Plus, enjoy live music by Anthony Reyes. In addition to being HGP’s Farm Manager, Reyes is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who plays traditional roots/ Americana inspired music while incorporating elements of classical, jazz, and blues. Read more on HGP’s Facebook page.
Location: 30 W Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

 

Saturday, Sept. 16, 3:30-7 p.m.: Homeless Garden Project benefit dinner

HGP is holding an organic benefit dinner at its farm, the latest in its Sustain Farm Dinner series. Sustain is a seasonal gourmet dinner series featuring organic produce from the farm, wine pairings, and guest speakers discussing sustainable topics. This time the keynote speaker is Tom Steyer, founder & president of NextGen America. The admission fee, $150, benefits HGP. Read more and purchase tickets online.

A different chef will prepare each of the dinner’s four courses. Derek Rupp, Owner and Chef at East Side Eatery, will prepare flatbread pizza appetizers. Sara LaCasse, Chef Consultant for Earthbound Farms, is preparing Farm lettuces and herbs with pickled farm vegetables in ginger vinaigrette, while Passionfish owner/chef Ted Walter will create an entrée of chili-lime chicken served with grilled corn, Early Girl tomatoes and Cotija cheese. Aubergine pastry chef Yulanda Santos is providing dessert: zucchini cake with roasted strawberries and lavender-lemon cremeux.

In 2007, Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, founded Beneficial State Bank, an Oakland-based nonprofit bank that invests any profits back into the community. They are committed to sustainable farming practices through Pescadero’s TomKat Ranch, an 1800-acre cattle ranch that produces grass-fed and finished, pasture-raised beef. “Programs like the Homeless Garden Project are crucial to combating homelessness and ensuring all Californians have access to educational opportunities, job training and stable housing,” says Steyer. “In California, we have a responsibility to care for our most vulnerable communities, and that’s why we must continue to fight for progressive policy solutions.”

Location: HGP Farm, Shaffer Road at Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz

 

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