Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Photos from the Big Sur Foragers' Festival 2015

I was able to attend the cooking demonstration yesterday afternoon at the Big Sur Foragers' Festival. Here's the post I wrote for my own kitchen blog: Cooking Foraged Foods with Incredible Local Chefs.

Turns that the festival didn't have a photographer assigned to the event themselves, so they used mine. Sweet!

Top Chefs Dish on Cooking with Foraged Foods {PHOTOS, Edible Monterey Bay}

Edible Monterey Bay's Debby Luhrman wrote this piece about the foraged foods cooking class at the Big Sur Foragers' Festival: Top Chefs Dish on Cooking with Foraged Foods. It hit the EMB blog today.

Two of my photos accompany the piece...

Chef Brad Briske making his stinging nettle gnocchi

Chef Jacob Burrell's Composed Plate Cooked with Foraged Sea Water

Passionfish's Ted and Cindy Walter Share Their Love at Holman Ranch {Edible Monterey Bay}

January 20, 2015 – this piece went live on the Edible Monterey Bay blog. Read it there.

Story by Camilla M. Mann
Photo courtesy Ted and Cindy Walter 

January 20, 2015 – February’s “In Your Backyard” event at Holman Ranch’s tasting room will showcase the passion thatTed and Cindy Walter, proprietors of Passionfish in Pacific Grove, have for sea life and for serving it in delicious, sustainable ways.

The series, hosted by Holman Ranch and sponsored by Edible Monterey Bay, gives food producers and food artisans a place to share expertise in a casual, conversational format. Each demonstration also offers recommendations for the best wine to pair with the featured culinary item.

On Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 6pm, Ted, Passionfish’s chef, plans to demonstrate three different ways of preparing a local fin fish. He’ll show how to do a raw fish crudo, a ceviche, and one other method that allows the flavors of the fish to shine. Guests will get to enjoy small bites of these dishes while sipping Holman’s award-winning estate wines and learning wine-pairing tips from Holman’s experts.

Cindy, who comes from a fishing family and is known equally for activism on behalf of ocean life and for creating a spectacular, green-certified setting for serving it, will share tips and techniques for sourcing and choosing sustainable seafood.

“We aim to give people the information about the easiest way to select sustainable seafood,” Cindy explains, “and to empower them to ask the right questions.”

A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, which since the late 1990s has helped home cooks, restaurant goers and chefs choose seafood that’s harvested in ways that protect fisheries and ensure the longevity of habitats. Seafood Watch has been a key partner in the Walters’ efforts since its inception—and they have been key supporters of the program.

“It all started with swordfish,” says Ted. Swordfish was in danger of going completely extinct because there was so much money in the market. However, nearly a dozen chefs began to boycott it, removing it from their menus and inspiring a ripple that moved across the country. “Once the fishermen had no market for swordfish, they stopped fishing it. The species recovered in less than five years.”

Seafood Watch had proved its power, and it went on to use its research and communications muscle to issue sustainability ratings of fishing methods and fisheries around the world.

“Once the Aquarium established Seafood Watch,” remembers Cindy, “we were really excited. This program helps us find sustainable seafood, something we were always trying to do on our own.”

Cindy urges consumers to carry the Seafood Watch guidelines—either in printed wallet card form or through the new phone app,—so they can easily identify whether seafood items are rated as a “Best Choice,” “Good Alternative” or “Avoid.”

She also cautions restaurant goers and shoppers to educate themselves.

“As consumers have grown more savvy, the industry has employed marketing experts. Consumers have to constantly stay ahead of the corporate world,” she says.

As an example, she notes that it used to be enough to see that something was “line-caught.” But while it’s not a technically a lie to call a pelagic long-line caught fish “line-caught,” it’s certainly flouting the intention of the designation, because long-line methods trap sea life indiscriminately. So the question has necessarily evolved from “is it line caught?” to “is it hand-line caught?”

To take advantage of this special opportunity and reserve your tickets before they sell out, call the Holman tasting room at 831.659.2640 or email info@holmanranch.com.

Tickets are $10 for wine club members and $25 for others; seating is very limited.

The Holman tasting room is located at 19 East Carmel Valley Rd. in Carmel Valley Village.