Edible Monterey Bay

EDIBLE NOTABLES

COMING TO FRUITION

PHOTOGRAPHY BY PATRICK TREGENZA

Fruition Brewing opened in the East Lake Village Shopping Center in Watsonville this summer

Opening a brewery of their own has been quite a journey for these Watsonville entrepreneurs


Tallula Preston and David Purgason was on the verge of realizing a long-held dream of opening their own brewery when tragedy seemed to change everything. On a quiet day in July 2017, Purgason, a brewer/ distiller for Venus Spirits, suffered a terrible accident when a freak explosion occurred during production. He was airlifted to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center to be treated for burns that covered nearly 75% of his body, inside and out.

Purgason and Preston—true champions of the Santa Cruz County beer community—had been developing the vision that would become Fruition Brewing since first … Read More

WHAT’S IN SEASON: DUNGENESS CRAB

Master of the winter table and essential catch for the local fleet

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HILLS AND CRYSTAL BIRNS

As a transplant from New England, my first true foray into Dungeness crab culture happened just last year when my friends celebrated the start of the season with a mid-November crab boil. We drank Champagne and ate crab cakes and Caesar salad while huddled around a giant bowl full of crab legs waiting to be cracked, peeled and devoured.

The scene was festive and the fresh crab was delectable—tender meat that was rich and buttery in flavor while maintaining a clean, saline taste. Still, I felt mostly like an outsider, a curmudgeon from the Northeast muttering something about lobsters under my breath. The crowd briefly entertained the idea that there was … Read More

OCEAN2TABLE

Linking fishermen with customers is a passion for two longtime friends turned entrepreneurs


Showing off a just-caught lingcod.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEN PAYTON

Food should not have to get on an airplane before reaching your dinner plate, according to Ian Cole and Charlie Lambert, founders of Ocean2Table, a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) based in Santa Cruz. Especially if it’s seafood. And especially if you live around the Monterey Bay.

“Seafood fraud is a major and widespread problem,” Cole laments. “The industry has some of the most falsified supply chains, and consumers are being lied to about everything from when it was caught to where it was caught to what species they’re actually purchasing. We wanted to create a CSF to combat that corruption, while also educating and connecting with our community.”… Read More

EDIBLE NOTABLES: FOOD TRUCK SORCERY

Bruxo conjures up shapeshifting cuisine for Santa Cruz

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRYSTAL BIRNS

It’s ten o’clock on a Monday night and Brooks Schmitt—the 29-yearold chef/owner of Bruxo Food Truck—stands in his 20-foot industrial kitchen trailer working his way through the prep list for the next day. He has just wrapped up two weeks of serving vibrant Burmese-inspired fare and tomorrow he will launch a rustic Japanese-style menu. In two weeks, Schmitt will spend another late night in the kitchen working on a new menu with new flavors that will transport his customers to an entirely different corner of the world.

This is the mad method behind the shapeshifting cuisine that has earned Schmitt a loyal following since landing in Santa Cruz last December. His food represents a fierce commitment to marrying … Read More

SPRING FORAGING: CLIFF CLIMBER

A local man risks life and limb to make seriously inspired salts

The pools are all hidden down
winding trails cut into the
dramatic hillsides of Big Sur’s
rugged coastline.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRYSTAL BIRNS

As the winter swells were starting to tower, Carlo Overhulser sat at the edge of a cliff near Las Piedras Canyon in Big Sur. He had been in a funk for some time—recently unemployed after the closure of a restaurant where he had been cooking and figuring out his next steps. It was November 2015 and from his home in Monterey he would venture down to Big Sur to hike, clear his head and enjoy a beer while perched on the rocks.

Watching the fishermen, lost in thought, Overhulser was too slow to dodge a massive … Read More

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