Edible Monterey Bay

THE PRESERVATIONIST: MISO

Gathering to make a savory
Japanese condiment provides a
window on a traditional food
culture and a lesson in patience.

By Jordan Champagne
Photography by Margaux Gibbons

About 12 years ago I had my first introduction to making miso. I was working with a local organic farm and the farmer’s wife was Japanese. She invited me to join a gathering where everyone was going to make their year’s supply of miso—the flavorful and nutritious Japanese seasoning paste made from long-fermented beans and used in soups, dressings and sauces.

I was very interested in food preservation of all kinds, but this intimate gathering of friends intimidated me. Toku assured me that it would be casual and that for most of the people there, it would be their first time making miso, … Read More

SPRING FORAGING: Bow Hunting

Taking slow food to a whole new level


Owners Ian Garner and Erica Gregory at their downtown
Santa Cruz archery range, Archery Santa Cruz

By Andrea Riordan
Photography by Michelle Magdalena

I got into archery through yoga. Fifteen years ago, in the middle of a warrior pose, the teacher explained that the intent was to emulate soldiers from ancient India; our aim was to fix our eyes beyond our outstretched arms and just beyond our fingertips, finding the precision of the the archer. Archery and yoga both ask the practitioner to create a perfect suspension between push and pull, so much so that time and the human experience seem suspended for a moment. It’s a powerful thing.

Archery has a long history in recreation and warfare—and it has an even … Read More

BACK OF THE HOUSE: SENSE OF PLACE

How chef John Cox developed
his signature Big Sur cuisine

Photography by Kodiak Greenwood

Ironically one of the most inquisitive and literary chefs in the Monterey Bay area dropped out of high school in his freshman year. Sierra Mar executive chef John Cox—a frequent contributor to Edible Monterey Bay magazine—left school to pursue his diploma via correspondence classes when he was 14.

“There were three stipulations,” he recalls. “We had to get rid of all the TVs in the house, I had to work full time and I had to cook dinner once a week for my family.”

Aha, so that was the start of his gastronomic career you might think. But his budding interest in food was his own, and he went to great lengths to explore it. He … Read More

PROFILE: THE UPSIDE-DOWN RIVER

Both the life blood and one of the biggest
threats to the region’s agriculture, the Salinas
River is the focus of an unusual collaboration
of farmers, nonprofits and government agencies,
all working together to preserve life along it

 

Photography by Katie Pofahl and Patrice Ward
Illustration by Dina Clark

It isn’t easy to get to know the Salinas River, which is probably why most of us rarely think about it. Many rivers that flow through cities are highly visible and can’t be missed; not so the Salinas, which has the odd habit of disappearing below ground to continue its flow.

It is, as Steinbeck famously wrote in his 1952 masterpiece, East of Eden, a part-time river—and those sandy washes of river channel that peek out along Highway 101 don’t look … Read More

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