ITK 12.26.19

Weekly: Why gin?

Trevor Peterson, Bixby Gin: The truth is I thought it would be easy. It actually took 18 months to get it to where I was in love with it. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Who do you listen to while you bake?

Ron Mendoza, Ad Astra Bread Co.: This morning we listened to Hüsker Dü. Yesterday I listened to Brian Eno while working my starter; I think maybe it makes a difference in the bread.

Is there anything that butter doesn’t make better?

Benny Mosqueda, The Butter House: I can’t think of too many things. Though I saw someone put butter in their coffee as part of the keto diet and that kind of surprised me. But to each their own.

How do you combine traditional recipes with your new ideas?

Susana Alvarez, Villa Azteca: I’ll always be evolving the food to show people how versatile Mexican food is. I sometimes experiment with new dishes like mole blanco topped with fried kale.

Any surprises on the tour?

Amber Gilliss, Carmel Food Tours: We have one stop – Cultura – that offers chapulines, grasshoppers. You see their eyes get really big. But then the brave ones try them and realize they are delicious treats.

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So I imagine your life is one big party.

Kim Stemler, Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association: That’s right. That’s why I’m sitting at my desk [laughs]. It’s a lot of work – policy, advocacy, education, communication.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Zeny Windham, The Lumpia LadyDinuguan. It’s a stew with pork and the guts – if you want them, I don’t – finished with blood. It’s really good. But not everybody eats it. It’s an acquired taste.

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