Edible Monterey Bay

Local Food Community Loses Ardent Champion

From left, Aga Simpson, Deb Monnastes, Steve Brabeck, Ghion Brabeck and Annelise Wilford

March 6, 2018 – One of our local food community’s most beloved and enthusiastic advocates of food as medicine and cooking for good health died last week.

Dr. Stephen Brabeck, 67, passed away after a six-month illness.

A cardiologist who long took an active interest in the holistic health of his patients, Brabeck was also a survivor of congenital heart disease and upon his retirement in 2012, opened the Quail & Olive in Carmel Valley so he could share the heart-healthy properties and delicious flavors of fresh, high-quality local olive oils.

From the outset the store also carried an array of specialty vinegars and quickly developed both a devoted following and an extensive collection of products from local food and drink artisans.

Last year, it relocated to a bigger space around the corner to accommodate its growth and give Brabeck a place to share his passion for healthful and tasty eating with a series of cooking classes.

Brabeck was not able to launch the classes himself. But his daughter, Annelise Wilford, a radiologic technologist who shares her father’s passion for medicine and food and attended the Culinary Medicine program at Tulane University with Brabeck, is taking over the running of the store and will be fulfilling his dream of educating the public about healthful and flavorful cooking.