FOODCHAIN: Give ‘Em the Business
Thursday, October 20, 2005
GOOD WORK…The figures are coming in from COMMUNITY FEEDS OUR NATION, the absolutely wonderful event at the Aquarium on Oct. 7. It looks like the event raised in the neighborhood of $220,000 (nice neighborhood), all of which went directly to the American Red Cross for help with the hurricane relief efforts. It was a total sellout, with folks clamoring for tickets the night of the event and unfortunately having to be turned away—the Aquarium has a strict occupancy policy. Otherwise, there is no telling how many folks would have piled into that food, beverage, music funfest. A hearty and heartfelt “well done’’ to everyone in the community. This event came about as fast and as well as it did simply because at every step along the way, everybody who was asked anything just said yes. Amazing what humans can do.
BIZ BUSINESS…Hey, all you restaurant owners out there, hope you didn’t get too riled up when I went off about the ESPRESSO MACHINES behind the bar. I meant what I said about them not belonging back there—might have been a bit rough on y’all in the way I delivered the message…but hey, this business is tough enough.
Talking tough business, got the word from MARC CUTINO about Dad BERT’s recent heart surgery. Guess all went well and we can expect Bert back around the Sardine Factory in a couple of weeks…see what I mean, these restaurant guys are animals. Hey man, you had heart surgery, why not take it easy for a while (like that might happen)? Get well soon and stay well.
Got a nice e-mail (not threatening or anything) from ANNETTE HOFF, winemaker at Monterey’s newest small, artisan winery called Cima Collina. It’s in Marina and is celebrating its grand opening on Nov. 11 and 12. They’ll be producing about 2,000 cases of small-lot, handcrafted wines sourced from small vineyards in Monterey County. It’s located at 3344 Paul Davis Dr. #6 in Marina and can be reached at 384-7806. Welcome to the scene.
FUN BUSINESS… RICH PEPE, denizen (another one) of all things Italian, owner of Little Napoli, partner in Peppoli, player in a winery, and all around bon vivant, has RICK EDGE coming up on Oct. 27 at his fun and informative Pep Talk series at Salud, near Whole Foods Market. Rick is the chef at Club XIX and will be demonstrating dishes for autumn and the holidays. He’s a master at techniques with meat and will be pairing his dishes with wines from the Club XIX list.
This is a really fun venue, up close and personal and only seats like 12 people so you’ve got to act fast. Check out www.peppoli.com, or call Whole Foods at 333-1600 now.
Then, at Peppoli on Oct. 28 (that’s the next night), stop in for a fun and exciting guest chef duet between Peppoli Chef ARTURO MOSCOSO and visiting Chef CHRISTOPHE HILLE, from the hot restaurant A16 up in San Francisco. Each chef will create two courses for guests wishing to partake of the special dinner, making it a four-course (I was a math major) festa per tutti (huh?) with the focus on the region of Campania.
Folks may book reservations throughout the evening and have the dinner when they arrive. The cost is only $65 per person, not including wine, but with the great list Peppoli has, there will be plenty of that to choose from. Call 647-7433 to book it.
KIDS’ BIZ… Whooooaaahhhh—the 2nd Annual PUMPKIN PANDEMONIUM and Community Trick-or-Treat Halloween event hits the Del Monte Center on Monday, Oct. 31 from 3 to 9pm. The amazing Farmer Mike, the Picasso of pumpkin carvers, will be demonstrating his excellence. Bring the whole family—there’ll also be a “Monster Bash” performance, pumpkin-pie-eating contests and trick-or-treating. Check out www.delmontecenter.com.
Start planning for the Fifth Annual KIDS NIGHT OUT event at Embassy Suites on Sunday, Nov. 13 from 5 to 8pm. Up to 100 kids from Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito and Santa Clara counties ages four to 13 (hey, what about kids my age?) will be treated (by Corporate Kids Events, Inc.) to an evening of fun that includes a free pizza dinner, gift-making workshops, games and more. Meanwhile, parents can treat themselves to holiday shopping, relaxation or a date night. More than 25 staffers from the company (which provides childcare for at conferences, etc.) will volunteer their time for the event. Parents may make donations to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army for help with hurricane relief. For more info or to register: www.vipbabysitting.com.
MISCELLANEOUS BIZ… Our great Aquarium is continuing its Chef Dinner Series featuring sustainable seafood and produce when Tra Vigne chef/owner and Food Network and PBS star MICHAEL CHIARELLO joins Aquarium Chef Dory Ford on Nov. 6 for “Napa Style,” a collaborative dinner featuring matching wines, at the Portola Restaurant. Call 648-4962 right away to book it. You can also find info at www.montereybayaquarium.org.
She’s young, her name is JOSIE ROWE and she’s doing spectacular desserts for catered events as well as restaurants. Her outfit is called Diva Dulce (good name). Her Web site is www.divadulce.com and her number is 649-4811…check it out.
Don’t forget to eat at BILL and THERESA LEE’s Bixby Martini Bistro as well as Bahama Billy’s, both in the Barnyard. Through Oct. 28 they’ll be donating 20 percent of your food and beverage total in your name to the Red Cross Carmel Chapter. Great chance to have fun, enjoy some eats and drinks and look like a hero. Call Bixby (626-1814) or Bahama Billy’s (626-0430) for details.
At Community Feeds Our Nation, Sweet Thing turned me on to GELATO MASSIMO, a great gelato producer who was sampling his goods at the Aquarium that night. Wow, che delicioso! He supplies a bunch of accounts around the Bay Area and a growing number around here, including Grove Market and Star Market. The operation is in Watsonville and is worth some investigation: 761-3198 or www.gelatomassimo.com.
Give my man EVAN OAKES (good friend of SUSAN PETERSEN) a call. He’s got the wildly fun Ag Venture Tours—a wine tasting, agricultural tour and sight-seeing operation. He’s a great guy who creates a really memorable experience for anyone who takes one of his tours. Show your out-of-town guests around and still have a blast yourself: www.agventuretours.com or call 384-7686.
My man SCOTTY “DUDE, I’M A GOLFER NOW” THOMASEN, of Epic Wines, along with his wonderful wife KIM, stopped down to Sugar Reef in Carmel the other night. He told me he had a great time in that eclectic, totally original underground food-and-fun palace. Featuring boldly-flavored island creations and a one-of-a-kind ambiance, Sugar Reef is a fun place to stop in for dinner, and now, brunch as well. Sunday is the day when you need to crawl out of bed gently and slowly, then make your way to Sugar Reef and let them bring you back to reality with their special magic. The place is on the corner of Dolores and 5th, down the stairs (where Akaoni used to be). Call 620-0700 for more info.
BARGETTO WINERY (tasting room down in Cannery Row) is having a fun Bocce Benefit for hurricane relief at the winery in Soquel on Nov. 6 from 3pm to 7pm. Music, dancing, food, wine, prizes and bocce. Guaranteed a great time, or my man JIM VAUGHAN will pick up everyone’s tab (he’s gonna kill me for that one). Call 475-2258 or visit www.bargetto.com or the tasting room for more.