Edible Monterey Bay




Why the flour shelves are empty

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It’s early morning and as I admire the billowy bowl of sourdough starter on my countertop, caffeine gradually brings the rest of the kitchen into focus. There is a bit of flour on every horizontal surface in the room—everywhere. Have I channeled my father? The scene definitely brings me back to the epically floury kitchens of my childhood, where my engineer dad lost himself entirely in the joy of weekend breadbaking projects.

His delight was contagious, and so in my preteens, I baked a lot of bread myself. But never sourdough, and after I left home, not another loaf.

Then the pandemic happened. Not coincidentally, friends—lawyers, fundraisers, all kinds of friends!—under stay-at-home orders due to the … Read More


Taste of History

P.J. Clark is operations manager and partner of the Alta Group

Alta Bakery breathes new life into the beloved Cooper Molera Adobe complex in the heart of Old Monterey

If you pay close attention at Alta Bakery + Café, you might notice an enigmatic design dusted on a rustic loaf of bread or imprinted in the foam of an espresso drink. You’ll also see it decorating menus and labels, and it reappears on interpretive signs throughout the gardens, orchard and 19th century structures that make up the Cooper Molera Adobe complex where the bakery opened in April.

Is it a heart? An artichoke? A bow-legged dancer? If it sparks your imagination, particularly about the compound’s early occupants and their world, then it’s doing its job. The … Read More

Monterey’s Innovative Cult Taco Opening for Sneak Peeks

April 9, 2019 – The creative masterminds behind Monterey’s hottest upcoming restaurant opening have started offering periodic tastings where lucky guests can experience its exceptional food, hip design and pioneering model for service and staffing.

Cult Taco won’t open officially open until May 1, but the partners—Sarah Kabat-Marcy, John Cox and Michelle Estigoy—and manager Kyle O’Dell see the new place as an extension of the wildly popular brand they have established with Cultura comida y bebida in Carmel, and they want to preserve it by being ready.

They also have another reason to take their time: Cult Taco is experimenting with the whole notion of what it means to be a restaurant. The interior and table setting design, ingredient sourcing and dish development have all been done with the care … Read More

Excitement Builds as Alta Bakery Prepares to Open Thursday in Historic Adobe

April 2, 2019 – Alvarado Street’s influx of superb chef-driven restaurants that are at once casual in atmosphere and serious in their from-scratch techniques and elevated sourcing will see an especially big bump this week when Alta Bakery and Café opens in the historic Cooper-Molera Adobe complex. 

Located at the top of Alvarado where it and four other streets—Polk, Jefferson, Pearl and Munras—meet, Alta offers an exciting intersection of the property’s past history and the new directions modern restaurants are taking. 

Likewise, the gorgeous space itself and its inventive food reflect an intersection of the very personal—and luckily for guests, very exceptional—experiences and influences of Alta’s partner-culinary director Ben Spungin, formerly executive pastry chef at Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar, Bernardus Lodge and Restaurant 1833 and his Alta Group partners—director … Read More

Pleasure Purveyor

The Monterey Bay area’s most famous chef—David Kinch—has been planting the seeds of his first Santa Cruz County restaurant all his life


It’s a Friday afternoon less than a week before chef David Kinch will take advantage of the annual winter closure of his 3-Michelin-starred Manresa restaurant to fly with his girlfriend and other friends to the Caribbean, and he has been counting down the days until they hit the beach.

In a matter of hours, he’ll be greeting guests in Manresa’s dining room, enjoying seeing his life’s work rock their worlds. But right now, his mind and hands are fully absorbed in the pleasure of cooking itself: Kinch is collaborating with some of his team members to make focaccia and pasta in the restaurant’s kitchen. … Read More