The good news: Smart and successful waste reduction and composting programs are in place at major (and award-winning) food operations like Asilomar Conference Center, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Basil Seasonal Dining and CSU Monterey Bay

The bad news: Hundreds more local restaurants can do better in managing their scraps and other organic waste materials, saving costs and boosting soils.

The best news: That's getting easier with a free business mixer hosted by the Monterey Regional Compost Coalition—anchored by The Offset Project and Monterey Regional Waste Management District—4-6pm Wednesday, May 3, at the InterContinental on Cannery Row.

More good/urgency-generating news: The organics recycling requirement of California's AB 1826 will be mandatory.

The mixer includes refreshments and word on how businesses can participate in the Organics to Energy compost program.

A tour of the InterContinental's food scrap diversion program will also figure in.

Businesses interested in attending should RSVP to abbie@theoffsetproject.org.

More food news nibbles appear here:

• Admired craft outfit Fieldwork Brewing Company, founded in Berkeley, is adding a taproom to its Berkeley, Napa and Sacramento outposts with a Monterey location opening this spring. As it's already May, stay tuned for more timely updates soon.

Citracada, the much-anticipated sister restaurant to Giorgio's in Oldtown Salinas' 201 Main super-structure, has an open date in sight: late June or early July. The place, which tucks behind Giorgio's kitchen, looks good. Preliminary menus include "Pacific fusion" items like spicy sausage-Asia pear quesadillas with pickled red onion, citrus-jalapeño pulled-pork tacos with cashew gremolata and black pepper pineapple ginger chicken bowls, for $7.75-$9.75. 

Santa Lucia Highlands' annual gala tasting Saturday, May 20, at Mer Soleil Winery ($120, santaluciahighlands.eventbrite.com) has sold all of its pre-sale tickets, and with good reason, given the 40 top-flight winemakers and dozens of top restaurants and food purveyors.

• Reliable sell-out Italian night at Gusto Handcrafted Pizza and Pasta does three courses, a glass of wine and limoncello with four live performers 6-9pm Wednesday, May 17 ($49.95, 899-5825).

• Chef of The Year for American Culinary Foundation's Monterey Chapter is dedicated and deserving Arlene Mead of Rancho Cielo's Drummond Culinary Academy. US Foods is purveyor of the year. The 2017 President's Gala & Chef of the Year Dinner happens Saturday, June 10, at the InterContinental ($130, montereybaychefs.org).

• Winemaker Dinner at Stone Creek Kitchen featuring Baker & Brain Wines flows Friday, May 26, with an exotic Persian menu (stuffed rainbow trout in pomegranate and coriander! grilled rack of lamb!) with four wines at the intimate chef's table kitchen ($140, 393-1042).

• "Millet tots" are now a thing, from a company called RollinGreens out of Boulder, Colorado, launching in California as this goes live.

• By 2020, Subway will use third-party animal welfare audits, switch to healthier breeds, and give birds more space and actual natural light.

• Value hawks have a field day on their hands with $5 smorgasbord of four pastas and fresh salad to celebrate il vecchio’s sixth birthday noon-2pm Saturday, May 6 (324-4282).

• The inventive River Road Wine Trail odyssey known as Tunes, Trucks & Tastes ($65; $25/DD) is back with reimagined verve Sunday, June 11, with all eight tasting rooms contributing, five food trucks, live music and no driving between locations, as it’s all at Odonata Winery (566-5147).

Casanova Restaurant (625-0501) is now open for brunch 10am-3pm Saturdays and Sundays on Fifth between Mission and San Carlos in Carmel.

• The 16th Annual Monterey Beer Festival, returning to the Monterey County Fair & Event Center on Saturday, July 8, seeks sponsors to benefit the Monterey County Fair Heritage Foundation. For more go to montereybeerfestival.com or contact Wendy Brickman at 594-1500 or brickman@brickmanmarketing.com.

Trio Carmel's first annual Vine & Dine celebration goes down at the gorgeous Mesa Del Sol in Arroyo Seco Sunday, May 21, to mark Trio's fifth anniversary with live music, pit barbecue, new release wines from MDS and vineyard tours ($35-$55, triocarmel.com/events, 250-7714).

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