Edible Monterey Bay

Roxa Acai Café Offers Herbal Aid and Fellowship

October 22, 2019 – Putting a restaurant together is a challenge under the best of circumstances. And when you’re talking about a completely new kind of hybrid café, it’s even tougher.

But to hear Michael Trainer and Jazmin Grant tell their story is to believe that improbable ideas are possible—and even necessary.

“We want to keep Santa Cruz weird,” says Grant, who with Trainer is creating the first “hammock café” in the United States, which includes a steampunk “sober bar” where exotic herbal drinks are served without alcohol or caffeine, but formulated to provide a boost of creativity, energy, lucid dreaming and other positive effects.

Grant and Trainer have been working on opening Roxa Café & Elixir Bar for close to two years, with a vision that includes setting pieces … Read More

Raise a glass to history in San Juan Bautista

In many ways, San Juan Bautista continues to be a unique snapshot of California history, with its adobe buildings, mission, and plaza that remain much the same as they were in centuries past. The mission, founded in 1797, put the town on the map, before it became a bustling commercial center and stagecoach hub in the mid-1800s. 

Mission San Juan Bautista faces what is now a State Historic Park, a lovely plaza surrounded by buildings from a bygone era. The old adobes that once housed Mexican generals are today at the center of a vibrant, lively village. 

San Juan Bautista of the 21st century is reinventing itself as a tourist destination and a focal point for foodies—with the opening of new, adventurous restaurants and taprooms in the past few years. Festivals … Read More

EDIBLE NOTABLES

RANCH LESSONS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JULES HOLDSWORTH

The Ted Taylor Vocational Ag Center opened at Rancho Cielo in August.

Well-known for preparing youth for jobs in the hospitality sector, Rancho Cielo leaps into the future this fall with a brand-new training center for ag tech


Chef Estevan Jimenez reaches up into a mature fruit tree in Rancho Cielo’s organic garden and pulls down a Santa Rosa plum, dark red, round and ripe. He bites into it and it takes him back to his childhood.

“It’s one of the first tastes I remember,” says Jimenez, who grew up in the Central Valley to immigrant parents. His mother worked in a packing shed and brought fruit home for the family. For Jimenez, the memories are as sweet and poignant as that plum.

Now, Jimenez—whom everyone … Read More

New Leaf Community Market Grows a New Store in Aptos

Historic inspiration combines with the best in food and wellness at the recently opened New Leaf Community Market in Aptos, the heart of the long-anticipated Aptos Village development. The supermarket is nestled in the center of the pedestrian-friendly development, offering all the necessities and much more.

In keeping with the small-town feel of the development, the market was placed in a very special historic building—the remodeled and repositioned Hihn Apple Barn, built by Frederick Augustus Hihn in the early 1890s. The barn was the focus of the local apple industry for decades. 

The remodel has retained the historic walls and rafters, but everything inside the store is brand-new, energy-efficient and ready for the 21st century.

“The intent is for us to be a hub for the community,” says Forrest … Read More

ON THE HOOK

ROCKFISH REBOUND

Fisherman Eric Hodge off the coast of Santa Cruz. Photo by David Hills.

Groundfish make a comeback, but consumers need to get reacquainted


Groundfish used to be the linchpin of California commercial fishing—a year-round, reliable catch of tender white fish that consumers were eager to buy. But that all came to a halt almost two decades ago after populations plummeted from overfishing.

Now, in a remarkable development, California groundfish—which include about 60 types of rockfish as well as sand dabs, Petrale sole and other bottom-dwelling species—have rebounded dramatically, some species decades earlier than anticipated, thanks to long-term fishing restrictions and careful monitoring of fishermen’s catch.

It’s an environmental success story that shows the resiliency of nature and what can be achieved when people work together for a common goal.

As … Read More

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