Tag Archives: family-friendly activities

Watsonville food truck event benefits soccer field renovation

Food Trucks on the Field is in Watsonville on May 15

Food Trucks on the Field is in Watsonville on May 15

“Food Trucks on the Field” is Sunday, May 15 from 2-7 p.m. at Ramsay Park’s Sotomayor Field (near Target), and proceeds will benefit renovation of Ramsay Park’s soccer field. The event is serving as the kickoff for the “Play it Forward” renovation campaign.

The Friends of Watsonville Parks and Community Services is presenting the celebration, and at least eight food trucks are participating:

Admission is free. For added entertainment, soccer players and coaches will be leading soccer drills and teaching skills and techniques, and DJ Mikey is providing music.

Location: 1301 Main St., Watsonville

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Claus visits breakfast buffet at Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz

Santa Claus and a breakfast guest at last year’s “Breakfast with Santa” at Chaminade

Santa Claus and a breakfast guest at last year’s “Breakfast with Santa” at Chaminade

During the next two weekends, Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz is a great place to visit with your family for “Breakfast with Santa.” These events are Saturday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 12 from 9 to 11 a.m.

At the Breakfast with Santa events, Chaminade will serve an extensive buffet with made to order waffles and omelets and more plus champagne or mimosas for adults. There will also be take-home teddy bears for the kids, unlimited pictures with Santa (with your own camera), and letter writing to Santa (Chaminade sends a personalized letter back to kids). The cost is $36.95 adults, $17.95 kids 6-12, and $11.95 kids under 5. Make reservations at the Chaminade web site.

Chaminade also has a holiday shopping event coming up. On Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., they’re hosting a pop-up Makers Market at the on-site spa. There will be lots of locally handcrafted products and artwork to choose from, plus spa products. Attendees can purchase beverages such as wine to enjoy while they’re shopping.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Location: One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, 831-475-5600

Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival 2014: Here’s what you get to taste!

Snake & Butterfly Chocolate is a vendor at the 2014 Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

Snake & Butterfly Chocolate is a vendor at the 2014 Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

The 2014 Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival is Sunday (1-4pm, Cocoanut Grove) with more than 25 vendors.

Benefiting re-entry student scholarships via the UC Santa Cruz Women’s Club, the chocolate festival is a popular event you don’t want to miss! Read more in this overview article, and keep reading for vendor information and some chocolate sample details to whet your appetite!

Watch for a few more sample details to be published tomorrow.

Snake & Butterfly Chocolate is an award-winning South Bay company that refines organic, fair trade chocolate from the bean. Snake & Butterfly makes small batch artisan chocolate using traditional stone melangers, using three basic ingredients: cacao beans, cocoa butter and sugar. They do not use emulsifiers or artificial ingredients. This chocolate is then used to create plain and flavored bars, truffles and confections — many suitable for vegans. At the Chocolate Festival, Snake & Butterfly will be sampling a variety of plain and flavored bars (Salt & Almond, Ginger & Nib, Bacon Toffee, Cherry & Chili), truffles, and caramels. The entire chocolate line will be for sale, too. Snake & Butterfly has recently opened their first retail location in Historic Downtown Campbell, where you can find all their creations as well as a collection of other local organic artisan products.

Original Sin Desserts & Catering was founded by UCSC graduate Tanya DeCell. Original Sin will be serving Oaxacan black Mole made with both Guittard and Scharffenberger chocolate. As with all of DeCell’s food, it is made from scratch using all-natural ingredients (locally sourced and organic wherever possible). Original Sin caters both private and business events, with a special emphasis on food and wine pairings.  DeCell is the primary chef for several wineries including Silver Mountain, Soquel, Sante Arcangeli and Wargin Wines.

Lifestyle Culinary Arts, a fabulous local company (read article)  who participates at the festival every year, will have this wonderful treat available:
• Chocolate Mousse Topped Pretzel with Banana Caramel

India Joze, a restaurant that serves delicious food, is attending the festival for the first time and will offer:
• A Filipino pork dish with cocoa sauce, plus (tentatively) chocolate chai and “wok roca”

Alfaro Winery, who also participated last year when wine was included for the first time, will pour:
• 2012 “A” Estate Chardonnay and 2012 Gimelli Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel

The Details
Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival
Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060
Sunday, January 19, 2014 from 1-4pm

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival with wine, food, and more benefits UCSC scholarships

Treats from previous Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

Treats from previous Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

The 7th annual Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 benefits UCSC scholarships, and I have lots of delicious food and wine highlights to share. The event is from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Cocoanut Grove by the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

The Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival brings together more than two dozen vendors. Last year’s festival welcomed wineries for the first time, and that tradition continues in 2014.

Participants range from local confectioners and bakers like Snake and Butterfly, Original Sin Desserts & Catering, and Saratoga Chocolates, to local restaurants like Chocolate and India Joze, to vendors from other states (like Theo Chocolate from Washington). Other local companies who will be present include Zizzo’s Coffee, Mission Hill Creamery, and wineries Sones Cellars, Alfaro Family Vineyards, and Silver Mountain.

I’ll publish information about specific items vendors will have for you to taste, and more details on some of these companies,  later tonight and tomorrow so watch for Part 2 and Part 3!

Each vendor will have treats such as truffles, cake, or ice cream available in exchange for a tasting ticket. Buy tasting tickets at the event (admission is free) or online. Each $15 purchase gets you six tickets. Another note: there will be a silent auction, cupcake decorating ($3) and some vendors are also selling chocolate products—remember that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching!

The festival benefits re-entry student scholarships at UC Santa Cruz, for students returning to higher education after an extended absence, often students who are also parents or military veterans. The chocolate festival is presented by the UCSC Women’s Club, a nonprofit organization open to women of both the campus and local communities. The club has meetings throughout the year (except for the summer) with engaging speakers, and also hosts interest groups including book clubs. In the last 37 years the club has awarded over 330 scholarships totaling nearly $230,000 to deserving women and men for research activities, tuition and childcare.

The Details
Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival
Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060
Sunday, January 19, 2014 from 1-4pm

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Chefs and restaurants participate in 4th annual Santa Cruz chili cook-off

chili cook off 2013Many restaurants, professional chefs, and amateur chefs are participating in the fourth annual Chili Cook-Off at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. There is free admission. To sample chili, attendees purchase $9 “tasting kits” (includes 5 taste tickets, spoon, cup, and People’s Choice voting ballot). A portion of sales will benefit Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services.

Competing restaurants include Aquarius, Café Ella, Café Sparrow, Mackenzie Bar & Grill, Parish Publick House, Seabright Brewery, and Solaire Restaurant & Bar.

The competition features four categories:

• Amateur Red
• Amateur Vegetarian Red
• Professional Red
• Professional Vegetarian Red

Awards (including plaques and cash) will be given to best Chili in each category, People’s Choice, Most Tasted, and Most Original Booth.

Here is the schedule:

9:00-10:00am Preparation period (No heat)
10:00am-1:00pm Cooking period (3 hours)
10:00am Tasting kits go on sale
1:00pm Public tasting begins
4:00pm Winners announced in beach amphitheater

Last year’s winners included chefs from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (Emily Thomas won Best Professional Vegetarian) and Parish Publick House (Zach Willis won Best Professional Red).

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.