Tag Archives: The Whole Enchilada

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.

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.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Fun Gourmet Grazing with food & wine benefits Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group

Seared ahi tuna from 2011's Gourmet Grazing on the Green

Seared ahi tuna from 2011’s Gourmet Grazing on the Green

The annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green allows attendees to partake in unlimited wine and beer plus lots of delicious gourmet food from local restaurants and food vendors, while raising funds for the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG). The 10th annual Gourmet Grazing is on Sat Sept 21, 2013 from 12-4 p.m. at Aptos Village Park.

The event usually sells out a few days ahead of time, so it’s recommended that you buy tickets immediately. Purchase tickets for $65 at New Leaf Community Market 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.

SCCBG board member Mary Anne Carson explains the festival’s popularity: “We offer the ‘best of Santa Cruz County’ all in one beautiful spot for a great value! Grazing is a delight for all of the senses: smell, sight, sound, touch and best of all, taste! We’ve offered high quality at a great value for the past 10 years which is why this event has a strong loyal following and will sell out!  Every year there is something new and every year the food purveyors, restaurants and chefs have become more creative.”  Some of my favorite dishes from last year’s festival included The Whole Enchilada’s squash blossom and zucchini tamale with avocado green salsa, and Café Cruz’s Southwestern gazpacho with shrimp. For more 2012 highlights, see my recap article.

There are more than 30 participating restaurants and food vendors for 2013 including The Crow’s Nest, Café Cruz, Penny Ice Creamery, The Whole Enchilada, Fresh Prep Kitchens, Solaire Restaurant and Bar, Hula’s, The Fish Lady, New Leaf Community Markets, Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Niman Ranch, Redwood Hill Farm, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Sweet Cheeks Bakeshop, and True Olive Connection. Some highlights: Cafe Rio will serve “Rio Prawn Spring Roll” which includes mung bean noodle & sprouts, carrot, green onion, basil, mint, and house made hoisin sauce. Severino’s will be serving lobster ravioli in a cherry white wine cream sauce paired with a raspberry salad. Together We Eat Catering is serving a Summer Strawberry Panini featuring strawberries from California Giant Berry. East Side Eatery is serving Chicken Pozole with chicken, hominy, spicy tomato broth, and garnish of fresh corn, cilantro, green onions, queso fresco, lime wedges, sour cream, tortilla strips, and diced jalapeños.

More than 25 participating wineries and breweries include Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards,  Burrell School Vineyards, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, Heineken, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Seabright Brewery, Sones Cellars, Bonny Doon Vineyards, and Vino Tabi. One highlight: Sante Arcangeli Family Wines will be pouring their 2011 Chardonnay, Split Rail Vineyard & 2011 Corralitos Duet Pinot Noir.

For the full list of participating restaurants, wineries, breweries, and exhibitors, click here.

All funds raised by SCCBG through events stay local. “We’ve raised well over $1 million since our inception in 1995 for the benefit of and distribution to local cancer support groups and cancer research at UCSC,” says Mary Anne Carson. “This is one of the hardest working, most passionate group of individuals I’ve ever encountered. SCCBG is an all volunteer organization.” 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 Services, The Katz Cancer Resource Center, UCSC Cancer Research, and WomenCARE. Last year the event raised more than $65,000 (up from $56,000 in 2011).

More details: there is free parking and free shuttle service (every 15 minutes) from Cabrillo College Lot E. There will be a raffle, with ticket sales benefiting SCCBG. Prizes include gift baskets and gift certificates contributed by businesses such as Whole Foods Market, Trader Joes, Paradise Grille, and Coke Farms, a wetsuit from O’Neill, wine tastings, and wine.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Gourmet Grazing with wine and food benefited Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group

Paradox Panzanella salad with frisée, castelvetrano olives, ricotta salata and tomato

The annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green, with many local wines, a few beers, and lots of gourmet food cooked by local chefs, raises vital funds for the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG). Last weekend’s event—the 9th annual Gourmet Grazing on Saturday September 15—actually sold out several days in advance. It’s a great event and I highly recommend buying your tickets early next year (they are traditionally sold at New Leaf Community Market, and $65 each or $500 for 10). The organizers do limit the number of tickets sold, which makes for a very pleasant environment. It doesn’t get too crowded to enjoy the event, and it still raises a lot of money. In fact, this year’s Gourmet Grazing raised more than $65,000 (up from $56,000 in 2011).

Admission includes food, wine, beer, a souvenir wineglass, and live music.

Here are some of my favorites from last weekend’s festival (although it’s hard to pick — everything I ate was delicious!):

• The Whole Enchilada: Squash blossom and zucchini tamale with avocado green salsa
• Solaire Restaurant and Bar (at the new Hotel Paradox): Two great dishes – Paradox Panzanella salad with frisée, castelvetrano olives, ricotta salata and tomato plus Niku maki with thinly sliced beef, scallions, sweet soy and ginger sauce
• Johnny’s Harborside: Salmon salad served atop a mini-BLT
• Café Cruz: Southwestern gazpacho with shrimp
• Café Rio: Local king salmon cakes with cabbage & carrot slaw, chili lime cream sauce & wasabi sesame seeds
• Niman Ranch: Pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon
• Coastal Chef Personal Chef Service: Rainbow Carrot and beet green salad with pistachios, golden raisins, and ginger vinaigrette

Other participating restaurants included The Crow’s Nest, Beast BBQ, Café Ella, Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Room, The Penny Ice Creamery, Shadowbrook Restaurant, and Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine.

Participating wineries and breweries included Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Burrell School Vineyards, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Seabright Brewery, Sones Cellars, and Vino Tabi.

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.