A Dozen Reasons to Celebrate Stone Creek Kitchen’s One-Year Anniversary
June 11, 2012
Stone Creek Kitchen celebrated its first year of culinary enterprise Friday by giving customers free champagne cupcakes packed with fresh strawberry filling.
The Weekly stopped by to partake in the merrymaking and left with 12 reasons to love the fact that SCK has been open 12 scrumptious months. While Stone Creek’s knife selection boasts names like Emile Henry, Messermeister and Staub appropriately enshrined in a glass case, their diverse inventory reaches far beyond fancy cutlery. The epicurean scavenger hunt revealed everything from one-handed pepper grinders to cast-iron woks massive enough to help feed a village.
1 • Seed Bombs ($7.99/small; $13.99/large), long cardboard tubes filled with regional wildflower seeds like white yarrow, lupine, and California poppy are meant to be chucked onto a ready patch of land. Manufactured with ethical labor and sustainable materials, the modest cylinders promise a colorful future for the garden.
2 • The seasoning spices department charms with exotic flavors adorned with amusing names like their Sex-in-a-Pan Paella Spice. Among the salt shelves sit flavors like espresso brava, Tahitian vanilla and regional blends such as Caribbean salts. Poised for purchase in pre-packaged containers, most of the blends weigh in around $5.
3 • Izzy’s Fitness Marble ($19.99/pound) entices from behind the glass of the dessert case. A thin layer of poured dark chocolate sprinkled with dried berries, almonds, walnuts and assorted seeds rests on a sheet of parchment. Finished with a dusting of ground flax and packed with antioxidants and healthy fats, the marble offers an encouraging post-lunch boost.
4 • The ACME Drip Coffee Bar speaks for itself, serving up a daily roast ($2) from unrivaled local favorite ACME Coffee Roasting Company ground and dripped to order.
5 • Onion Goggles ($19.99) assure tear-free chopping, mincing, slicing and grilling. Debatably stylish in a shooting-range sort of way, the goggles undertake to relieve the dismay of the family member charged with onion duty next Thanksgiving.
6 • The clay Emile Henry Flame Top Tagine ($144.99) entices the culinary aficionado with its striking aesthetics and clay steam chamber, plus the tender perfection of foods that benefit from a long, low cooking treatment.
7 • A Beer Tasting Toolkit ($24.95) allows a refined alternative to beer pong with an informative booklet, notepads for tasting notes, a quick-reference card and paper covers to conceal the brew’s true identity.
8 • Paella Fridays feature a delicious and visually pleasing one-pan paella (16.99/pound) packed with vibrant spices. Last Friday's was full of green beans, bell peppers, lemon wedges and the traditional chorizo and seafood combination—big-time flavor without a fishy finish. The often overlooked Spanish classic is a staple at Stone Creek and is sold either in individual portions or in an entire ready-for-the-beach pan designed to serve eight to 10 people al fresco.
9 • The carrot cake ($4.50/slice) is neither too moist nor too dense, resulting in a hearty cake loaded with raisins and walnuts kept fresh by thick carrot shreds and juicy pineapple. Decadent cream cheese frosting adds a satisfying creaminess to the chunky cake. Pair this spice-dusted delight with a foggy day and a steaming cup of ACME (see number 4).
10 • Resting below the posted quote “Life is too short to drink bad wine,” an XL Wine Glass ($14.99) boasts the ability to hold an entire bottle of wine while appearing deceivingly undersized for such a task. The visual tease offers the ability to convince yourself, if not others, that you really aren’t that drunk. After all, it’s only one glass.
11 • The Olive Oil Bar hidden in the back produces four taps flowing with local and international boutique selections. The Carmel Valley option issues pleasingly grassy aromatics with a kick of pepper on the finish. Tastes are encouraged by the generous staff, sans bread for dipping, exposing the refreshingly naked flavor of the oil. A traditional Italian balsamic ($10.99/250mL) rounded out the tasting with a gooey tartness that begs to be drizzled on fresh strawberries.
12 • Weekly classes come tailored to specific themes and cooking techniques: 6:30-8:30pm Tuesday, June 12, four healthy dishes are the focus with “Light and Delicious,” which aims to bring down the calories without compromising flavor ($55). As the focus shifts to Dad this weekend, a special Father’s Day “Dad is Smoking Hot” smoking and grilling class takes place 6:30-8:30pm Thursday, June 21, and includes how to chef up salmon on a cedar plank ($65). For the high school graduates about to fly the coop, “Vegetarian Cooking 101 for Teens” 11am-1:30pm Saturday, June 23, teaches students how to make chia smoothies, lavash sushi and zesty kale chips ($55). To register call the number below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stone Creek Kitchen is open 10am-7pm Mon-Fri; 10am-4pm Sat. 465 Canyon Del Rey Blvd., Monterey. 393-1042, www.stonecreekkitchen.com.>