April 9, 2019 – César Olivares—gourmet foods manager at Staff of Life market in Santa Cruz—is in France this week to prepare for an upcoming competition.
Not just any competition, but the Mondial du Fromage, a biennial test that on June 2-4 will determine the best cheesemonger in the world.
Twelve people are competing this year, by invitation only. César is the first Latin American ever to compete.
Like the Oscars, just being invited is an honor—a recognition of one’s gifts.
Olivares says he became a cheesemonger by accident, “It was really a result of wanting to learn more, and more, and more.”
Born in Mexico, Olivares grew up in Los Angeles and arrived in Santa Cruz as a student, graduating from UCSC with a BA in political science. He … Read More
March 19, 2019 – Spring begins this week. And now that we have an extra hour of daylight “saved” for the end of the day, how best to spend it?
Few things fortify better than a 5pm cocktail and the creative team at Soif are debuting a few new libations this week that are truly dedicated to the season. The beloved downtown Santa Cruz restaurant is known for its local and seasonal fare and these new cocktails are similarly inspired.
“We’re fortunate to have really great ingredients here, so we absolutely use everything in the kitchen,” says Soif bar manager Matt Barron.
Like chef Tom McNary in the kitchen, Barron sees himself as an environmental steward. He carefully uses “leftover” trimmings from ingredients in the kitchen’s dishes—this week, everything from … Read More
September 20, 2016 – Amelia Loftus has worn many hats: baker, farmer, personal shopper, brewer, jam-maker. Now, having run Seven Bridges Brewing Supply for 15 years, written a book, and started a farm, Loftus has turned to coffee roasting as her next adventure.
“I think it’s somehow in my blood and I don’t really know what else to do,” says Loftus. “After I left Seven Bridges, I spent a few months looking for a regular job and it was just a nightmare. I have a lot of bookkeeping skills so I was applying for a bookkeeping job and having to dress up, sit in a stodgy job and I just can’t see myself doing that.”
She bought a small two-pound roaster in 2012 and has since been selling her beans … Read More