Edible Monterey Bay


Courtesy Katherine Stern, chef, La Posta in Santa Cruz

1 whole 3½–4 pound chicken (I usually buy from Fogline Farms)
1 cup chicken stock or water

Season the bird generously with salt and let sit overnight or at least 8 hours.

When ready to roast, pat the bird dry with a kitchen towel, tuck the wing tips under its back and let sit at room temperature.

I use a variation of what I call the Zuni Café method to roast the chicken. Heat oven to about 500° F. Choose a pan that will fit the bird snugly. (At home, I use an oval, enameled cast iron pot that belonged to my grandmother.) Place the pan on the stove over high heat.

When hot, place the bird in, breast side … Read More


Courtesy Santos Majano, chef, The Kitchen at Discretion Brewing in Soquel

½ bunch of parsley
½ bunch of basil
½ bunch of cilantro
¼ bunch of dill
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
1 small shallot
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, about 1–1½ minutes, depending on your machine. Taste for additional seasoning, and serve on grilled meats, veggies or egg frittata. Makes about 1 cup.

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Courtesy Katherine Stern, chef, La Posta in Santa Cruz

We often associate tomatillos with Mexican cuisine, but chef Katherine Stern serves this Italian-style dressing with a fresh tomato salad, spooned over pan-roasted fish or with grilled vegetables.

½ pound tomatillos
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Handful, fresh basil leaves
1 bay leaf
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat your oven to the hottest temperature. (La Posta does this in its pizza oven.)

Remove the tomatillos from their husks. Thinly slice the onion and garlic. Put the vegetables in a baking dish big enough to hold everything without being too crowded. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, the bay leaf and a pinch of salt. Roast the veggies, turning them halfway through, until they are … Read More


Photo by Ellie Hamner

Courtesy Ian Cole, co-owner, Ocean2Table in Santa Cruz

Serves 3 to 4

¼ cup red or white miso paste
¼ cup sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/8 cup sugar
4 black cod fillets, 5 to 6 ounces each (typically one full share)

Whisk together miso, sake, mirin, soy sauce, oil and sugar. Rub mixture over every surface of black fillets. Transfer to a plastic zipper-lock bag or sealable container. Proceed immediately to the next step, or for best results, marinate for about 30 minutes or up to two days.

Adjust broiler rack to 4 inches from heat source and preheat broiler or toaster oven broiler to high. Cover a small broiler pan with aluminum foil. Place black cod fillets … Read More

Salmon, Rice, Smoked Avocado, Purée of Zucchini


Courtesy Justin Cogley, executive chef, Aubergine in Carmel

Cogley says this recipe is easy to cook at home. He likes to use a Japanese rice cooker for the rice and a simple home smoker for the avocados. To smoke the avocados, cut them in half, take out the pits and smoke them for about 15 minutes. They will keep for two days if wrapped. If you don’t have a home smoker, you can either try using cedar wrapping paper, as our recipe tester did, or simply skip that step.

Serves 2 

2 cups prepared white or brown rice
1 pound king salmon, fileted and pin bones and skin removed
Lemon juice
2 avocados, smoked (see note above)
1 bunch chives
1 package of furikake seasoning*
Rice vinegar
Salt and pepper… Read More