Edible Monterey Bay

Foragers festival brings out fun guys and gals for a good cause

December 16, 2014 – Foragers are celebrating the recent rains—the holidays are approaching and visions of golden local chanterelles may finally become reality. No one would be upset if there were some morels and porcini thrown in for good measure, either. All of those goodies—and more—will likely show up at the third annual Big Sur Foragers Festival, January 16-18, 2015.

The festival is a reincarnation of the much-loved Big Sur Chanterelle Festival, according to Sharen Carey, the physician assistant who serves as Executive Director of the Big Sur Health Center. “We wanted to have a signature fundraising event,” she said, “so we went to board members from the chanterelle festival and ask them to help us revise and expand the event to include other foraged foods.” It’s been growing … Read More

LAST CALL: The Cherry Bean

A Salinas original serves great coffee with a shot of community

Photography by Margaux Gibbons

It’s 7 a.m., and a steady stream of regulars is coming through the Cherry Bean Coffeehouse & Roastery in Oldtown Salinas. At this hour, it’s mostly attorneys, health care professionals and teachers, as well as a few firefighters and police officers.

Bruce Banks, a Salinas chiropractor, is standing at his spot at a counter opposite the cash register. It’s been “his” spot for over a decade. So when Banks walks in and finds that someone else has unwittingly taken it, the regulars wait for his reaction. Usually, good-natured growling and ribbing ensue. That’s how the Cherry Bean is. It fosters a sense of community, fraternity—and even family.

For many, the Cherry Bean provides the setting … Read More

Hermitage fruitcakes make soulful gift

December 2, 2014 – With lives dedicated to quiet contemplation, it’s easy to see why monks at the New Camaldoli Hermitage south of Big Sur had trouble singing the praises of their delicious fruitcakes and date nut cakes.

They’ve been supporting themselves by making the brandy-soaked holiday treats and Holy Granola for 40 years, but it became increasingly hard to be heard in today’s noisy, digital, pre-Christmas frenzy. So this year, they’ve brought in Bay Area business consultant Michael DiPietro to help. The consultant knew the monks from his many personal retreats at the hermitage and when they asked him to assist with the sales and marketing end of their business, he gladly accepted.

DiPietro said one of the steps in his process was doing market research on fruitcakes sold … Read More

Chris Kimball isn’t everything you think he is. . .

November 11, 2014 – Persnickety. Nerdish. Opinionated. “America’s Test Kitchen” host Christopher Kimball is some of that. But he’s also charming, well-read, and much more culinarily hip than he makes himself out to be on the PBS series, where he represents Everyman in the kitchen. He asks his colleagues and co-stars questions he thinks viewers would ask if they were learning to cook. He’s bringing a live version of the show to the Sunset Center in Carmel on Wednesday, November 12.

The show is billed as a multimedia, interactive audience experience, with a tasting and some kitchen science experiments. Kimball also disclosed that it would include a clip of the time when he nearly burned down the Today Show kitchen, and the story of colleague Jack Bishop’s hilarious attempt to … Read More

Giorgio’s at 201 Main grand opening today

October 21, 2014 – The long-awaited grand opening of Giorgio’s at the 201 Main complex in Salinas is today. At a soft opening over the weekend, diners had a chance to sample the menu, which features clearly marked vegetarian, vegan, 100% organic, grass-fed and free-range options. EMB surveyed the menu, sampled some of the food, and is happy to say that Executive Chef Alessio Giannuzzi’s dedication to great ingredients is paying off.

Starting with the ambiance; owners Gerry, Seamus, and Jesse Kehoe’s four long years of efforts have led to a polished jewel. The interior features backlit green onyx tops on both the bar and the chef’s table, which brings diners up close and personal with the pizza oven and open kitchen. Warm colors and lowered lights bring intimacy to … Read More