Tag Archives: Friend in Cheeses Jam Co.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Four: Jack O’Neill Restaurant


Appetizers from Jack O’Neill Restaurant including Kennebec potato chips and crab cakes, photo courtesy of restaurant

Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge at Dream Inn Santa Cruz is today’s partner for the “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway” with a $50 gift card prize. Keep reading for how to enter.

Gus Trejo, who currently serves as executive chef for Jack O’Neill and all of Dream Inn’s culinary operations, is very talented and creative. Plus, he sources many ingredients—from seasonings to seafood—from our local community. To name a few: the housemade Kennebec potato chips feature Big Sur Salts diablo sea salt, the cured meat and cheese board includes jam from Friend in Cheese Jam Co., and select entrees include mushrooms from Far West Fungi, produce from Sea to Sky Farm, or chicken from Fogline Farm.

During a recent dinnertime visit, my family enjoyed a delectable flatbread with Kuri squash and Burrata and perfectly flakey Dungeness crab cakes with a scrumptious Remoulade (we fought a little over the last bites). The wonderful entrees included Chef Trejo’s signature Prawns & Pasta with ravioli, prawn bisque, and pea shoots. The variety of ravioli rotates depending on the season.

Jack O’Neill is serving prix fixe multi-course dinners on Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31. Featured Christmas dishes that guests will choose from include Scallop Crudo, Warm Chicories, Wedge Salad, Rib “Eye” of Beef, Gnudi & Lobster, and Death by Chocolate.  For New Year’s Eve, Chef Trejo will prepare dishes such as Celeriac Root Bisque, Lobster Toast, Fillet of Beef, and Vanilla Crème Brulee. That night, there will be live music from 5–7 p.m. & 7:30 –10:30 p.m. Christmas is $85 per person & New Year’s Eve is $110 per person (the latter includes champagne). Reservations are required at Opentable.com or 831.460.5012.

Contact Information

jackoneillrestaurant.com, IG @jack_oneill_restaurant, 175 West Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

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CONTEST:

One lucky reader will win a Jack O’Neill gift card worth $50.

To enter, email your name to tara@santacruzfoodie.com by Friday Dec. 17 at 10 p.m. with the words “Jack O’Neill” in the subject line. The drawing will take place the next morning and the winner will be notified via email.

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Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Local gifts, part 3

Santa Cruz-themed gift assortment from The Local Box Shop. Photo courtesy of The Local Box Shop

Here is part three of my local foodie holiday gift guide – hope you’ll join me in supporting small businesses. I am mostly highlighting food-related gifts, but also mentioning a few non-food items. If you have something you’d like to suggest for a future installment of this guide, please email tara@santacruzfoodie.com.

Also see:

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

This Sunday is the second installment of the Westside Marketplace: Dec. 6, 11am-4pm.

The collaboration between Food Trucks A Go Go and the Santa Cruz Mountains Makers Market is an outdoor market at the Old Wrigley Building Parking Lot, 2801 Mission Street. There is free admission and more than 35 Santa Cruz County-based vendors plus a range of food vendors. All vendors and attendees are required to wear face masks. Artisans selling products include Ashby Confections, Anuenue Juice California, Arose Teas, Bee Happy Today, and Freedom Touch Studios. See event page for full list of vendors. Food trucks will be Drunk Monkeys, Pana, Taquizas Gabriel, and Aunt LaLi’s ice cream. Beginning in February, there will be outdoor markets at this location the 1st Sunday of every month.

Bee Happy Today, one of Sunday’s vendors, also offers products through “goods4goodmarket,” an online marketplace that local resident Jill Potts recently launched to showcase “gifts that give back.” She features sustainable and socially impactful businesses like Maggie’s Organics, which is donating 10 percent of sales to The Center for Biological Diversity to help protect endangered species; and Bee Happy Today, which is donating a portion of proceeds to benefit Santa Cruz Bee Company. Visit goods4goodmarket.com.

The Local Box Shop offers hand-curated, locally sourced gift boxes including ones featuring items from women-owned Santa Cruz County food businesses like Ashby Confections and Friend in Cheeses Jam Co. Each also has soap from nonprofit Homeless Garden Project. Normally there are two sizes, small and large, but the small SC-themed box has sold out for the season. You can buy the large one here. The Local Box Shop also offer a variety of gift boxes sourced from artisans around the greater Bay Area. Company founder Molly Shane started the business earlier this year, partly to help support many “small businesses, artists and makers struggling to stay afloat in our Bay Area community.” She supports more than 25 small businesses, many of which are women-owned, black-owned, immigrant-owned, and POC-owned. thelocalboxshop.com

Speaking of Homeless Garden Project (HGP), their downtown boutique is open for your holiday shopping at 1338 Pacific Ave. As always, the shop has lots of appealing gifts handmade by trainees in HGP’s program. Food products include Lavender Shortbread Cookie Mix (organic ingredients, including lavender hand-picked from HGP’s farm), herb salts and other seasonings, strawberry lemonade pancake mix, and jam.  You can shop online too. Income from gift sales helps provide job training and transitional employment for people who are homeless, and volunteer and educational opportunities for community members who want to learn about and practice sustainable agriculture and social justice. HGP’s job training program delivers an annual average of 90% success for graduates securing stable housing and employment.

Another gift idea: if you want to give someone a Hanukkah gift or early Xmas present: Dec. 12 is HGP’s next virtual “Sustain in Place: A Series of At-Home Tastings” event. Cultivating Growth with Seedfolks will feature readings from Paul Fleishman’s award-winning book Seedfolks, a story of “personal transformation and growth at a community garden.” Readers will include local renowned author Jonathan Franzen, our current and incoming Santa Cruz Mayors (Justin Cummings and Donna Meyers, respectively), and Santa Cruz Shakespeare Artistic Director Mike Ryan. There are a range of ticket packages including one that includes a gift bag with HGP’s cookie mix and jam plus a loaf of La Posta bread. Visit website for more info & tickets.

Mission Hill Creamery is holding its annual gift card sale. Through Dec. 24, the artisan ice cream shop is offering 20% off gift card purchases if you spend at least $25. Go to the shop’s gift card site to order. During checkout, you need to click “add a coupon code” and enter the code “20%OFF” to receive the discount. If you don’t want to order online, you can also order by phone and they can also ship the cards. 1101B Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, 831-508-0774, missionhillcreamery.com

Johnny’s Harborside is also running a gift card promotion. Buy a gift card for $50 or more and receive 20% back on a separate card. For example, buy a $50 card as a gift and get a free $10 card for yourself, spend $100, get a $20 card, etc. Call ahead for curbside pickup during business hours. 493 Lake Ave, Santa Cruz, 831-479-3430, johnnysharborside.com.


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Santa Cruz restaurant news highlights, Part 2 of 2

Savory hand pies at Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting

Savory hand pies at Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting

Here is some restaurant news for Santa Cruz — I published Part 1 of this two-part series a few days ago.

Openings

Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting opened its new spot about 2 weeks ago, moving to Pacific Ave. (former Noah’s Bagels site) from around the corner on Locust. It’s got so many changes that it’s basically a brand-new place! Don’t worry: the amazing cupcakes, regular or mini-size ($4 or $2), are still available in flavors including signature Triple Orange (Earl Grey frosting on blood orange cake). Now you can order espresso from Lulu’s to accompany the sweet treats. New food items include granola with yogurt or milk ($5), spicy corn muffins with paprika garlic cream cheese, gluten-free vegan “miracle muffins” (ingredients include coconut and almond flour), and vegan scones (like lemon cherry; ingredients include coconut oil). There are savory and sweet “handpies” (mini $2, regular $5) with rotating flavors like potato-egg-cheddar or The Greek (feta, spinach, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts). Rotating soup varieties include chipotle corn chowder ($4/bowl). Current hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun-Thurs, and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri-Sat. In the future, hours will expand to 8am-9pm daily.
Location: 1411 Pacific Ave., (831) 466-0373.

Ashby Confections now has a second storefront—it’s keeping the Victor Square store in Scotts Valley, and is now offering lots of goodies—including selected handmade chocolates and caramels—at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge (it took over the space formerly occupied by Mutari; for more on Mutari, see “Changes” section below). Just today Ashby announced a new, freshly made ganache “made with Askinosie Chocolate dark milk chocolate made with single origin Filipino cacao with a touch of goat milk powder and sea salt.” They are serving lots of hot chocolates including “European style” and traditional South American-style drinking chocolates made by local company CACOCO. They also offer fresh honey marshmallows and vanilla bean whipped cream. Hmmm, and there is rain in the forecast the next few days…sounds like a good combination! In the future, Ashby will have a variety of chocolate milks and frozen desserts available at the Lounge. Current hours are Wed-Sun noon to 8 p.m. Location: 1001 Center St.


Opening Soon

Café Iveta will be opening its second location soon, probably in late March: an expanded restaurant at UCSC. The original Westside location—2125 Delaware near Swift—will remain open (and thriving!). The new location will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It will feature a full espresso bar and sustainable coffee, plus craft beer and wine. Campus hours will be 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon-Fri and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. Location: Graduate Student Commons (across from the Bay Tree Bookstore), UCSC, 1156 High St.

Changes
The Santa Cruz Food Lounge is now open 5 to 9 p.m. Wed-Sat with a full bar serving local wine, beer, cider, and artisan spirits. There will be special guest bartenders on occasion; this Saturday, March 5 features Tabitha Stroup (owner of Friend in Cheeses Jam Company) who will be “slinging original cocktails incorporating her delicious locally made jams” according to Food Lounge owner Andrea Mollenauer. On March 5 customers can also purchase food from Tanglewood…if you haven’t tried this yet, I highly recommend it. I tried Tanglewood chef Rachel Hughes’ meatballs at the last Artisan Market and they were delicious. Hughes is a former Ty’s Eatery sous chef. Tanglewood will be serving food at the Food Lounge bar regularly (except at the times other local chefs are doing popup dinners). Location: 1001 Center St.

Ty’s Eatery, which used to do a weekly pop-up Sunday brunch at the Food Lounge, is no longer a regular participant. However, Ty still does catering; for details call him at (925) 451-7944.

Mutari Hot Chocolate is no longer at the Food Lounge. Owners Adam and Matt Armstrong closed that location at the end of 2015, and sold the business to Katy Oursler and Stephen Beaumier. Mutari fans can still buy products online, and Oursler and Beaumier are hosting occasional popup cafés at Front Street Kitchen (504A Front St.). The next one is Friday, March 4, 5 to 9 p.m.

LionFish SupperClub has big news. It has discontinued the weekly Tuesday popup gig at the Food Lounge. LionFish is now offering dinner service every Wednesday through Saturday at nightclub MOTIV’s upstairs bar/kitchen (formerly known as Pearl Alley Bistro). Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Wed-Thurs and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fri-Sat. The grand opening celebration and Santa Cruz Chamber ribbon cutting is Friday, March 4, beginning at 5:30 p.m. LionFish will continue to hold occasional special events such as dinners (at various venues) and private culinary events. Location: 1209 Pacific Ave./110 Pearl Alley.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie. Have food/restaurant/wine/culinary event news to share? Write me at tfatemi@gmail.com.

Don’t miss Gourmet Grazing cancer research benefit with a wide array of food & wine

Attendees at a previous Gourmet Grazing on the Green

Attendees at a previous Gourmet Grazing on the Green

It’s time for the 11th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green, where you can enjoy a large amount of first-rate food (from local restaurants and caterers)—plus beverages from local wineries, breweries, and distilleries—in a friendly and festive atmosphere. And you will be helping support the very worthwhile Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

Gourmet Grazing is Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014 from noon to 4 p.m. at Aptos Village Park.

The event usually sells out a few days ahead of time, so I recommend you buy tickets soon. This year organizers are allowing 1,200 tickets to be sold instead of 800, so it is possible that tickets won’t sell out as fast—but you never know! SCCBG Board member Mary Anne Carson commented: “Due to its popularity, we’ve expanded our space in order to bring in more food purveyors, restaurants and vintners, as well as more Grazers, this year. We look forward to another stellar event and raising even more funds for the benefit of our beneficiaries.”

Purchase $65 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online. If you have a group of 10, you can get tickets for $50 each. Admission includes food, wine, beer, a souvenir wineglass, and live music. The event is outdoors; last year it actually rained for a short while, but everyone just ran under the few sheltered spots and it stopped as quickly as it started.

New this year is a “big bottle silent auction,” courtesy of new festival partner Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association (SCMWA). There will also be a bottle booth operated by SCMWA, an alliance of more than 60 wineries promoting wine produced from the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation.

Some of the food creations that participants will taste have been created with products generously donated by event sponsors Coke Farm, Watsonville Coast Produce, and presenting sponsor New Leaf Community Markets.

Some of my favorite dishes from last year’s festival included Café Rio’s Rio Prawn Spring Roll (included mung bean noodles, sprouts, carrots, green onion, basil, and mint) and Johnny’s Harborside’s Gazpacho Seafood Cocktail (calamari, scallops, shrimp, garnished with baby romaine and a watermelon radish). For more 2013 highlights, see my recap article.

There are more than 25 participating restaurants, farms, and food vendors for 2014 including The Crow’s Nest, Shadowbrook, Café Cruz, Café Rio, The Whole Enchilada, Solaire Restaurant and Bar, Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz Fish Co., Everett Family Farm, MacKenzie Bar & Grill, Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Redwood Hill Farms, The Penny Ice Creamery, and The True Olive Connection.

More than 25 participating wineries, breweries and distilleries include Venus Spirits, Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards,  Burrell School Vineyards, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Seabright Brewery, Sones Cellars, Bonny Doon Vineyards, and Kathryn Kennedy Winery.

This year, Kathryn Kennedy Winery will pour wine including 2011 Kathryn Kennedy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains, which sources say is “amazing.”

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 Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, UCSC Cancer Research, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy. Over the last decade, SCCBG has distributed more than $1.5 million to directly support the Santa Cruz community.

There will be a raffle, with ticket sales benefiting SCCBG. Prizes include jewelry, restaurant gift certificates, a wetsuit from O’Neill, and SCMWA Wine Passports.

More details:
There is free parking and free shuttle service from Cabrillo College Lot E.
For more information on the event, see www.sccbg.org or call (831) 465-1989

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.