Tag Archives: The True Olive Connection

Lots of local food & drinks at Event Santa Cruz community party

Bridgette Quartararo from SparQle Cloud spins cotton candy

Bridgette Quartararo from SparQle Cloud spins cotton candy

Event Santa Cruz is partnering with Visit Santa Cruz County for “This is How We Cruz” on Wednesday, June 8 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event, which will include lots of local food and drinks, will be at the Rio Theatre (1205 Soquel Ave) and is highlighting some of our area’s local people, places, projects and businesses.

Scheduled presenters are from a variety of industries and will focus on the county’s local beer, food and sports scenes. There will be a mix of food and drinks to purchase and to sample. Tickets are $10 and going fast; purchase online. During the first hour, people can mingle and enjoy refreshments, and speakers begin at 7.

Event participants include the following (some of these are presenters; others are vendors):
• Bubb Rader, Berdels
• Annie Pautsch, Brew Cruz
• Coffee Zombie Collective, band
• Mayor Cynthia Mathews, City of Santa Cruz
• Jacob Martinez, Digital NEST
• Zach Davis, The Glass Jar Company
• Frank Scott Krueger, Humble Sea Brewing Company
• Ryan Evans, Inboard
• Jackly Paulette, musician
• Cesario Ruiz, My Mom’s Mole
• Dan Satterthwaite, New Bohemia Brewing Company
• Becky Potter, Pure Heart Chocolate
• The Santa Cruz Derby Girls
• Casey Hill, Santa Cruz Warriors
• Bridgette Quartararo, SparQle Cloud
• David Dennis and Martijn Stiphout, Ventana Surfboards & Supplies
• Maggie Ivy, Visit Santa Cruz County
• The True Olive Connection
• Chris Baca, Jared Truby and Charles Jack of Cat & Cloud

I spoke to Becky Potter, Pure Heart Chocolate founder, about her involvement with the event. “I am excited to be part of the vibrant food/artisan culture that is happening here in Santa Cruz, and I think Wednesday night is going to be an awesome example of this,” she shared. “People can expect to see some of their favorite local entrepreneurs, and also have the opportunity to discover newer small businesses, like mine.” Potter will be giving away free samples of raw vegan chocolate and selling boxes of her delicious treats.

Another highlight? Event organizers announced that attendees will be the first to experience Visit Santa Cruz County’s new video series that profiles “a few dynamic businesses and the people behind them.”

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

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.

Santa Cruz First Friday Art Tour Food/Restaurant Highlights include food trucks

Attendees at First Friday Santa Cruz enjoying dinner from a food truck

Attendees at First Friday Santa Cruz enjoying dinner from a food truck

Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 in Santa Cruz is the next “First Friday Art Tour,” and there are events, exhibits and food choices to satisfy people with a variety of tastes. Here are a couple highlights.

Mission Hill Creamery is hosting artist Jamie Taylor on Fri Aug. 2. He will be at the delicious ice cream shop from 6-9 p.m. to show and discuss his work. Taylor comments about his art: “It is exciting to me to be utilizing a broader range of my aesthetic sensibilities to make my paintings, so that they continue to present different possibilities of comprehension, resulting in the creation of something both mysterious and concrete.” Check out the art and taste some wonderful sweet treats at the same time. Mission Hill Creamery owner Dave Kumec utilizes organic ingredients in his artisan ice cream like Straus milk and cream, Windmill Farm strawberries, and Lone Oak Farms apricots.
Location: 1101B Pacific (next to Taqueria Vallarta)

The True Olive Connection hosts painter Hannah Dalbey, who will be at the shop from 6-8:30 p.m. Her work will be on display until September 4. Dalbey says: “Painting has been my creative expression for over 35 years…My objective has been to bring out the spirit of the subject. I learned that color, shape, value, line and texture are the underlying essence of painting.  It is always the same whether I am painting a face, a body, an animal, a landscape or a still life.  Abstract and non-objective art has become an exciting way to work with just the essential components of painting.   Having the freedom to experiment with creativity in its myriad forms has been a great joy!” The True Olive Connection is known for its great First Friday spreads which include free bread and olive oil, olives, wine, and other goodies. The shop sells many oils, nearly 20 balsamic vinegars, plus mustards, hot sauces, and more.
Location: 106 Lincoln St (just off Pacific), Santa Cruz

It’s been announced that food trucks will be at the August 2 First Friday Santa Cruz, at the Wrigley Building. Past First Fridays have featured The Truck Stop and Low N Slow Mobile Cuisine.
Location: 2809 Mission St (in Westside SC)

The free First Friday tour happens every month, rain or shine, at different venues including restaurants, cafes, wineries and galleries. It was founded by the Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Home, Garden, Culinary & Wine Expo 2012 in Santa Cruz this weekend

The Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz is the site of the 2012 Central Coast Expo

The 2012 Central Coast Home, Garden, Culinary & Wine Expo takes place at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz from March 24-March 25 (10am-5pm each day). The trade show, which has long focused on topics including home improvement, gardening, sustainable living, and landscaping, is in its 17th year. It has just expanded from “Home & Garden” to add “Culinary & Wine.”

There are many fun elements to this event; here are a few highlights.

Cooking Demos: The culinary stage will feature rotating chefs including the executive and sous chefs from the Cocoanut Grove plus India Joze’s Jozseph Schultz and The True Olive Connection’s Susan Pappas. See full schedule below.

Wine: There will be lots of wineries including ones from the groups “Surf City Vinters” and “Summit to Sea Wineries” plus Bargetto and Silver Mountain. Cabrillo College culinary arts instructor and wine expert Sue Slater is presenting on “Wine Appreciation 101-From California to France.”

Gardening: The gardening stage will have experts including the Monterey Bay Master Gardeners (such as rose expert and author Joe Truskot), beekeeper Dana Mumm, and several individuals speaking on landscaping (topics such as succulents in landscaping, natives, sustainability, and feng shui).

Antiques: Doug Woolard from A&A Auction will be appearing from noon-3pm both days for antique auction appraisal.

Admission is only $3; children 12 and under are free with a paid adult. The first 200 people to arrive receive a free plant! For more info and a coupon, see event web site.

Culinary Stage Schedule

Saturday March 24
11am Lydia Greenspace
11:45am Chef Lisa Magadini
12:30pm True Olive Connection
1:15pm Cocoanut Grove Chefs
2pm Sue Slater on Wine
2:45pm Pono Grill
3:30pm Marc Jones Tasty Solutions Catering
4:15pm Peachwood’s Chef Dave Smith

Sunday March 25
11am Marc Jones
11:45am Chef Lisa Magadini
12:30pm True Olive Connection
1:15pm Cocoanut Grove Chefs
2pm Sue Slater on Wine
2:45pm India Joze’s Jozseph Schultz
3:30pm Peachwood’s Chef Dave Smith
4:15pm To Be Announced

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie