“What brings us to the kitchen is hunger, hunger for food, hunger to feed others,” writes Edward Espe Brown in his classic, The Complete Tassajara Cookbook. “What brings us to the kitchen is love, conviviality, connection—we’re finding a place at the table of life.”
Some people see food as nothing more than fuel. But for many of us, it is much more than that. It is a life-enriching thing to “offer our effort,” as Brown puts it, to create delicious food. In this issue of Edible Monterey Bay—as we did with our first two—we bring you the stories of many people who passionately offer their efforts in pursuit of bringing our local area truly great food.
You’ll read about a lawyer named Cynthia Sandberg who left her practice to devote herself to growing tomatoes in the Santa Cruz Mountains and now supplies superb, biodynamic produce of all kinds to David Kinch’s two-Michelin-star restaurant, Manresa.
We’ll introduce you to San Benito County grassfed beef ranchers who are reclaiming animal husbandry done in a more intentionally healthful and humane way.
You’ll learn about the inspiring dedication to excellence of Chef Cal Stamenov and Winemaker Dean De Korth at Bernardus in Carmel Valley.
You’ll also read about cooking classes all over the Bay, where local masters provide opportunities to learn from them in their own kitchens.
We’ll provide tales of a sustainable sushi venture, our Bay’s often-forgotten squid, the coffee savants at Verve Coffee Roasters, and a glimpse of the artichoke’s colorful local history. You’ll find an announcement for the first installment of Edible Monterey Bay’s new Popup Supper Club series, at the much-awaited new restaurant opened by Chef Brendan Jones— one of the creative hands behind the Cachagua General Store—and front-of-the-house partner Matthew Zolan. Reserve your seat soon by going to our website!
Finally, you’ll even learn about the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center itself and the quiet influence it’s had on our current passion for all vegetables fresh, sustainable, seasonal and delicious. As Brown says, “Cooking is not just working on food, but working on yourself and working on other people.”
We hope this issue inspires you to connect with great flavors, conscious choices and, perhaps best of all, with the many people in our local neighborhoods who share our love and appreciation for the effort. We personally admire and enjoy great effort. But delicious, transporting food need not be expensive or fancy—just fresh, wholesome and prepared with passion and love.
Sarah Wood and Rob Fisher