An incredibly delicious pop-up on October 26
One gets the impression that Kristina Scrivani could tell you in great, appreciative detail about every ingredient she uses in the kitchen. She has the joy of fresh discovery as she holds up containers of spices and insists we pass them around, stick our noses in, and get transported to flavor ecstasy.
Not many kitchenware stores have a full kitchen smack in the middle. Even fewer are graced by the brilliant, loving touch of a cook of the caliber of Kristina Scrivani. On the night of Friday, Oct. 26, the lucky participants in an Edible Pop-Up Supper Club at Stone Creek Kitchen got a real treat.
Before serving one of the highlights for us all, Kristina described, “basically we started with a case of fantastic, big, firm poblanos, and then we roasted them on the barbeque and sweated them in paper bags. Once they were nice and cool we stripped the skins off, made a little slit in them and pulled the seeds out, then stuffed them with garnet yams [with goat cheese and butter to add softness]. We put a little cornmeal on the outside and bake them for a little bit of crunch, which is really nice as a bed for crema mixed with some of this fantastic cumin…it’s so incredible to have really fresh spices.”
Needless to say, our mouths were watering, and the dish, when it came to our tables, was a revelation, something like a chile relleño bursting with autumn flavors.
Another stand-out dish was fresh Monterey Bay calamari stuffed with a chorizo filling in a skillet with blistered Momotaro tomatoes, filling the pan with really flavorful juice. The final course was pumpkin pie ice cream with shortbread cookies filled with goat’s milk cajeta, a Latin caramel that is not too thick, but milky.
Kristina brings a lifetime of cooking experience, growing up in a family that grew their own food, from poultry to produce. “Everything but brown rice” she says, “even though my parents were not farmers.” She remembers fondly feeding the lambs and piglets, but less fondly the looks on her friend’s faces at school when she brought lunches of deviled chicken hearts and gizzards. “Nobody would trade lunches with me.”
Kristina and her business partner, Linda Hanger, chose to locate their store at the intersection of Route 68 and Canyon del Rey Blvd., putting it at a crossroads between Monterey, Carmel Valley and Salinas. (They almost called their store “Fork in the Road.”) It is obviously a place to get inspired, with kitchen equipment, great wines and cheeses, prepared foods, and perhaps most exciting of all, a full kitchen in the middle used for cooking classes and dinners.
Linda and Kristina have a shared love of food and service to the community. Linda brings great experience and energy, coming from a career as a very successful executive in the book-publishing world. The two of them have created a wonderful resource to all of us who care about fresh, local, ethically sourced, seasonal food that is mind-blowingly delicious.
Stone Creek Kitchen • 465 Canyon Del Rey Blvd. • 831.393.1042 • stonecreekkitchen.com
Rob Fisher is rector of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Carmel Valley and co-publisher and associate editor of this magazine.