Edible Monterey Bay

Cooking While Sheltering in Place

March 24, 2020 – Though it had been decades since I’d seen her, the other day my Grandma Vecchione showed up in my kitchen when I was making gravy—that’s what Italians call spaghetti sauce. It’s her recipe, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by her visit. 

She always had a cackle-y laugh, was nearly as wide as she was tall, wore funny-looking shoes that tied on the side. In her kitchen, she made food that had the best of smells and the best of flavors—not only her gravy but fried zucchini flowers, roasted meats, pickled cauliflower, and when we were really lucky, zeppole for dessert.

As a little girl, I spent hours watching her cook, beginning when I needed to perch on a chair to stir the gravy. … Read More


Women chefs are well represented in top posts around the Monterey Bay, and we talk to three of them about how they’ve achieved success in what has traditionally been a man’s world.

A woman’s world: from left, Gabriella Café’s Gema Cruz, Art of Food’s Wendy Brodie and Sierra Mar’s Elizabeth Murray all have or currently run restaurant kitchens in the Monterey Bay area


For most of us, our first meals came from women—our mothers, and later, if we’re women ourselves, we tend to become the home cook. Like countless middle-class American women of the 1960s and ’70s, my mother was a devotee of Julia Child. Though she worked full time at a demanding job outside our home, as soon as she got back from work, just … Read More

This Sister and Brother Team Stir the Pot

May 30, 2017 – Care to go to the island of Crete for a quick visit sans summer airline fares and endless airport lines? On Saturday, June 3, you can do just that. Sister and brother chef duo Emily Beggs-Kortman and JT Beggs would like to welcome you to their first supper club of the season.       

This event inaugurates a series that will include a midsummer dinner at Mt. Shasta and an early autumn harvest dinner in Santa Cruz. The siblings plan to distill their favorite aspects of the foods of countries they know well with an emphasis on the importance of place and encouraging a local sense of community.

The evening begins with a cocktail called Raki Meadow Tonic, made from a blend of foraged herbs and Cretan … Read More

I Can, Therefore I Am

August 20, 2013 – When my brother and his new wife visited this summer from Connecticut, it prompted me to serve a lunch completely sourced from the mountain where my family resides. I made gazpacho from my garden, served heirloom tomatoes and basil atop delicious mozzarella lightly dressed in balsamic vinaigrette and chèvre that my neighbor made from her own goat’s milk.

It was so delicious and well received that I thought, “I want to have this delectable sensation all throughout the year. I want to preserve the abundance of tomatoes I have.”

I was definitely feeling unsure about whether or not I would actually have the time to implement what I was going to learn, but I began to get very excited about taking the canning class at Happy … Read More