On a bright summer evening this past July, we were walking across London Bridge when we noticed some young Londoners coming from the direction we were headed, engrossed in happy conversation and drinking glasses of beer as they walked. By the time we reached the other side, we felt an exciting energy all around us. How had we forgotten? We were in Southwark, the location of the famous Borough Market! With a history that some believe dates back to the year 1014, it’s known as London’s oldest produce market and boasts more than 100 food stalls.
Poignantly, this was also the site of a horrendous terrorist attack in June, but just weeks later the market was completely unbowed: tantalizing smells from the restaurants that surround it and the sounds of jubilant and gregarious Londoners spilling out onto the sidewalks filled the twisting streets. When we returned to see the market in its fully glory during daytime hours, we found a sea of humanity speaking diverse languages, some wearing religious garb, of all ages and yet with a common pursuit of seeking out England’s best farmers, fishermen, brewers, butchers, bakers and other food purveyors. Food is life, and at Borough Market, life wins.
This fall edition of Edible Monterey Bay, so beautifully edited by EMB deputy editor Deborah Luhrman while we were away on sabbatical, is brimming with celebration of the local food growers, creators and purveyors that infuse so much life into our own communities.
In her story, Debby describes the Food Heritage Project’s remarkable new book that tells the histories of 11 foods that were grown and prepared during Santa Cruz County’s early days, with recipes from some of the area’s earliest cooks.
Jamie Collins shares the story of pioneering local farmers who are capitalizing on new tastes for hard cider and local, organic apples to bring back the region’s once plentiful orchards.
Meantime, Watsonville resident Elizabeth Hodges explores the creative energy bursting from her town’s food and drink scene, arguably transforming it into something of a Brooklyn of the Monterey Bay area.
Also in this issue, our writers show how several new local food and drink ventures are having an exciting impact on their own communities. Rosie Parker takes you on an odyssey with David Baron, chef at the new Salt Wood restaurant in Marina; Camilla M. Mann tells the story of the playful masterminds behind Folktale Winery in Carmel Valley; and Elizabeth Limbach introduces the bartender who brought us Front & Cooper in Santa Cruz’s new Abbott Square Complex. We hope your autumn is filled with inspirational adventures, whether to some far-flung corner of the earth or right here within our dynamic tri-county area.
As always, we’d like to close with a huge and warm thank you to our wonderful staff, contributors and advertising partners, without whom this magazine would not be possible!
Sarah Wood and Rob Fisher
SARAH WOOD—founding editor and publisher of Edible Monterey Bay—has had a life-long passion for food, cooking, people and our planet.
She planted her first organic garden and cared for her first chicken when she was in elementary school in a farming region of Upstate New York.
Wood spent the early part of her career based in Ottawa, Canada, working in international development and international education. After considering culinary school, she opted to pursue her loves for writing, learning about the world and helping make it a better place by obtaining a fellowship and an MA in Journalism from New York University.
While working for a daily newspaper in New Jersey, she wrote stories that helped farmers fend off development and won a state-wide public service award from the New Jersey Press Association for an investigative series of articles about a slumlord who had hoodwinked ratings agencies and investment banks into propping him up with some early commercial mortgage securitizations. The series led Wood to spend several years in financial journalism, most recently, as editor-in-chief of the leading magazine covering the U.S. hedge-fund industry.
Wood could not be happier to now be writing and editing articles about the Monterey Bay foodshed and the amazing people who help make it so vibrant and diverse. And, after spending much of her adult life gardening on fire escapes, she’s very glad to be planting in the ground again.
Wood lives with her husband, Rob Fisher, a fourth-generation Californian, and young daughter in Carmel Valley. Their favorite meal is a picnic dinner at Pt. Lobos State Reserve.