Great 2013 Gourmet Grazing festival raised money for Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group

Asian Tuna Tartare on rice crisp & slaw with candied ginger peanut dressing from The Chef’s Table. Photo courtesy of SCCBG

Asian Tuna Tartare on rice crisp & slaw with candied ginger peanut dressing from The Chef’s Table. Photo courtesy of SCCBG

The annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green features a wonderful atmosphere, amazing food, and lots of delicious wine and beer. The 10th annual Gourmet Grazing, a sell-out, was held Saturday Sept 21, 2013 and raised important funds for the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group. Everyone had a great time, even with the rainy weather! Read my preview article.

If you missed it this year, I recommend planning ahead for 2014. Buy your tickets early, either online or at New Leaf Markets. Because only a limited number of tickets are sold, the festival doesn’t get overly crowded. It’s enjoyable for families (I brought my young daughter) and individuals of all ages.

Here are some highlights from the 2013 festival to whet your appetite for 2014!

Food

  • Café Rio: Rio Prawn Spring Roll with mung bean noodles, sprouts, carrots, green onion, basil, and mint
  • Johnny’s Harborside: Gazpacho Seafood Cocktail with Calamari, Scallops and Shrimp and garnished with Baby Romaine and a Watermelon Radish

I must confess I had seconds of both of the above; they were that good!

  • The Whole Enchilada / Haute Enchilada: Delicious and refreshing Peruvian Ceviche with shrimp, Peruvian corn, onion, clam juice, sweet potato, mango, cilantro, habanero chile, and fresh lime juice.
  • East Side Eatery (Pleasure Pizza’s newest spot): Chicken Pozole which was hearty and satisfying, especially given the weather. It had a fun “add your own toppings” spin including green onions, queso fresco, and jalapenos. Apparently the version at the restaurant itself also includes avocados, so I’m sure it’s even better there!
  • Fresh Prep Kitchens: Mushroom and Asparagus Quinoa Risotto
  • The Chef’s Table: Asian Tuna Tartare on rice crisp & slaw with candied ginger peanut dressing (see photo)
  • Severino’s: Lobster Ravioli in a cherry-white wine-cream sauce
  • MacKenzie Bar & Grill at Pasatiempo: Pulled pork slider with coleslaw (very addicting!)
  • Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine: Lamb & Beef Gyro Wrap with heirloom tomatoes, lettuce & tzatziki sauce, served with Beet Salad
  • Solaire at Hotel Paradox: Sous vide shortrib over sweet polenta

Beer and Wine

  • Kathryn Kennedy: the winery poured a few exclusive bottles of their 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, for the lucky few that had a chance to taste before it was all gone!
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works: Santa Cruz AleWorks IPA, Santa Cruz AleWorks Kolsch
  • MYKA Cellars: 2012 Mitzi Unoak Chardonnay, 2012 Malbec Dry Rose, 2011 Kane Cabernet Sauvigonon
  • Santa Cruz Mounting Brewing: Madame Grey – Milk Honey Stout infused with earl grey, Fresh Hop Black IPA, Wilder Wheat

SCCBG has funded cancer research and local groups — including many that support people living with cancer — since 1995. The organization was started by a small group of friends who used to play tennis together once a week; they had each lost a relative or friend to cancer and wanted to do something to make a difference. The first event the group hosted was a Spring Forward Against Cancer Tennis Tournament and Celebration; these tournaments are still held each year. Proceeds from SCCBG’s events, including this year’s Gourmet Grazing, benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support and Services, The Katz Cancer Resource Center, UCSC Cancer Research, and WomenCARE.

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