Armed with a pen and a lens, I have always tried to capture moments and tell stories. About my boys, my passions, food, fun, and adventures. I've just started back into the world of publishing after my motherhood-imposed hiatus. Follow my forays here.
Story by Camilla M. Mann Accompanying Photos were Provided by Il Tegamino (see the EMB blogpost to view those)
May 5, 2015 – The former GM of Cantinetta Luca is getting
ready to open a home-style Italian restaurant of his own called Il Tegaminoin the
picturesque Court of the Golden Bough in Carmel. Giuseppe Panzuto and his
brother Salvatore previewed their new restaurant Saturday as part of the 23rd
Annual Winemakers’ Celebration. “It will be homey,” said Giuseppe, who plans to
open the doors in July and feature Neapolitan comfort food using family
Hailing from Naples, Italy, the Panzuto brothers named the
restaurant as a tribute to their mother, Rita, who collected cooking pots. Il
tegame is one of the most classical Italian pots, characterized by a
flat bottom, short sides, and two handles. Il tegamino is a
smaller version of the pot. With fond memories of growing up in Rita’s cozy
kitchen, Giuseppe and Salvatore hope to create the atmosphere of being in a
genuine Italian kitchen.
Though the menu is not yet set, they are exploring favorite
recipes that their mother made. Giuseppe waxed nostalgic about
her eggplant parmesan and her lasagna di carnevale. “You have
these little meatballs and eggs. You know it’s not like what Americans think of
as lasagna,” he said.
Carnevale falls just before Lent, when Christians abstain
from indulging in rich foods. And, sometimes, meat is avoided altogether.
Carnevale derives from two Latin words—carne (meat) and vale (farewell);
so it’s literally ‘Farewell, meat!’ Lasagna di Carnevale is a
classic Neapolitan dish filled with meat and cheese. Some versions include
salami and hard-boiled eggs. The idea behind the dish is to use up whatever
meat you have in the house before Lent.
small bite they served at Saturday’s preview was another traditional Neopolitan
dish, Sformato di Patate, creamy potatoes mixed with Italian meats
and cheese and baked under a blanket of butter and bread crumbs.
Giuseppe resigned from his most recent post as GM of
Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in March to focus on the
Il Tegamino will be located in the Court of the Golden Bough
in Carmel-by-the-Sea, in the courtyard behind the Cottage of Sweets. It’s part
of a reinvigoration effort that includes opening the Alexander Smith tasting
room and the addition of new fountains through the efforts of Denny LeVett.
Like their recipes, the Court of the Golden Bough holds a bit of old Europe.
‘The Golden Bough’ refers to the Roman poet Virgil’s Aeneid. The
titular hero, Aeneas, bearing a tree branch with golden leaves was allowed to
travel through the underworld unscathed.
The courtyard used to house a restaurant that, for four
decades, served as a meeting place for locals and visitors and fed City Hall
employees, something the brothers hope to replicate with Il Tegamino.
The menu at the new eatery will be largely influenced by
Southern Italian traditions, featuring easy and simple recipes. “Many of the
dishes will have as few as three ingredients but will be full of freshness and
flavor,” Giuseppe said. “It will be like inviting people into our house—into
our family kitchen.”
April 28, 2015 – Famous for his fabulous nine-course Big Sur
tasting menu, executive chef John Cox of Sierra Marrestaurant at
the Post Ranch Inn shared his seafood secrets with appreciative foodies at the
fourth session of EMB’s In Your Backyard series last week at
Holman Ranch tasting room. Cox joined forces with Art Seavey of Monterey Abalone Company for
the event called “Cooking the Big Sur Coast.” The chef shared ways to prepare
foraged sea vegetables and seafood while Seavey talked about growing
his business amid initial resistance to aquaculture.
From his restaurant perched 1500 feet above the Pacific
Ocean, John heaped praise on the kelp forest. “It’s an important natural
resource. Algae is responsible for something like eighty-percent of the oxygen
we breathe,” he said. “Additionally, it’s a versatile ingredient.”
The first bites he showcased were jokingly called “beach
flotsam and jetsam,” dishes of dehydrated giant kelp, pickled sea grapes, and
brined chain-bladder kelp. Cox also offered thin slices of Hamachi belly dried
on giant kelp blades. “You can do this with any fatty fish,” he instructed.
Sea urchins were cleaned and dressed simply with lemon,
garlic, and olive oil. He served them alongside ebony-hued squid ink baguette
slices. “I’m lucky to have three sous chefs with whom I can collaborate and
innovate,” he admitted. “I aim to take diners on a journey with foods that
epitomize the flavor of the ocean.”
Cox advised us to be informed consumers, to eat what’s
abundant, and to know where our food comes from. Regarding recipes and how to
prepare foods, he urged: “improvise with simple, good products.”
Seavey discussed the difference between abalone fed
pelletized rations and those nourished with kelp. “Kelp is a natural food of
wild abalone. So it results in a farmed product that tastes like it comes from
the wild, using the nutrients in the water.” The process reduces impact on
water quality. As a result, farmed abalone is listed—by the Monterey Bay
Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program—as a ‘Best Choice.’
A portion of the evening’s proceeds benefitted Nancy’s
Project, a charitable nonprofit organization founded by Nancy Costello
that distributes food, clothing, and other necessities to farm labor families
throughout Monterey County. Project coordinator and shepherd Betty Kasson
described the focus of the organization and shared that Nancy’s spirit still guides
the mission. “There are now approximately seventy volunteers continuing the
work of one tireless 95-year-old woman,” she said. Six days a week, fifty one
weeks of the year, drivers load and deliver donations to the families in need.
There are two more In Your Backyard events before the series
finale on July 15th at the historic Holman Ranch. Attendees
will enjoy spectacular views, food from the area’s best chefs, Holman Ranch
wines, and music, while supporting six worthy causes—Ag Against Hunger,
Everyone’s Harvest, Food Bank of Monterey County, MEarth, Nancy’s Project, and
The May 13th IYB event with Aubergine pastry chef Ron
Mendoza is sold out, but there are still tickets for the evening of June 16th,
when executive chef Ken MacDonald from Edgars at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley
and Serendipity Farms’s Jamie Collins will guide people from garden to table,
sharing how to plant your garden with your menus in mind and offering tips for
cooking your bounty.Tickets are $10 for wine club members and $25 for others;
seating is very limited.
There are also plenty of tickets left for the season finale,
a farm-to-table picnic with live music, Holman’s award-winning wines and
several exciting chefs at Holman Ranch’s stunning, historic vineyard, just
beyond Carmel Valley.
The chefs at the July event Chefs will inlcude La Balena’s
Brad Briske, Sierra Mar’s John Cox, Porter’s in the Forest’s Johnny De Vivo,
Edgars’ Ken MacDonald, Aubergine’s Ron Mendoza, Wills Fargo Steakhouse + Bar’s
Jerome Viel, the Beach House’s Evan Lite and Monterey Meringue’s Lee Zimmerman and
Domenick Allen. Purveyors will include Tassajara Natural Meats and Monterey
To reserve your tickets for either event, call the Holman
tasting room at 831.659.2640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets for the July 15 farm-to-table may also be purchased
on eventbrite at: