posted on by Jackie Bebenroth

Coastal Inspiration

We had the good fortune of traveling to both coasts in March – Northern California and Southern North Carolina. While we try to get away on short trips often, this was a 2-week “working vacation” with the specific purpose of gaining new perspectives on taste of place across fresh culinary cultures.

Here are some inspiring ideas we found in California that may find their way into some Spice venture somewhere, sometime…

Food is All Around Us. For a refreshing splash in our vodka tonics, our Pacific Grove hostess walked two houses down to grab a half dozen Meyer lemons from her neighbor’s tree. And every day, Ben couldn’t resist a little foraging on land and water. This makes local sourcing a breeze…and a given.

Chef Ben munching mustard greens on the side of a trail.

Chef Ben munching mustard greens on the side of a trail.

Time for spearfishing!

Time for spearfishing!

Not bad for first time out.

Not bad for first time out.

Ben's catch of the day.

Ben + friends’ catch of the day.

Farmers’ Markets are Well Stocked & Well Merchandised. Prepared and coordinated foods were a constant, making it easy to spend, spend, spend on dried fruits, pickled peppers, and foraged harvest baskets.

Foraged mushroom grab bag, anyone?

Foraged mushroom grab bag, anyone?

It's strawberry season in California!

It’s strawberry season in California!

And also asparagus season!

And also asparagus season!

Good Bread is Everywhere. And also bakery.

Latte + Loaf at Big Sur Bakery

Latte + Loaf at Big Sur Bakery

Great Wine is All About Relationships. For us, it’s always been essential to know the people we’re doing business with.  The wine producers we talked to told us about their own long-standing relationships with growers. There’s a lot of pride in the heritage of those connections, rooted in community.

White Oak Vineyards & Winery grows their own fruit for quality control & consistency.

White Oak Vineyard grows for their own winery and sells to others.

These guys have known our Executive Chef, Brandon Walukas, for years.

These guys have known our Executive Chef, Brandon Walukas, for years.

Indoor + Outdoor Landscapes are Intertwined. Rooms transition seamlessly to outdoor gardens, patios and bars. And the landscaping is often built into the architecture.

Yes, that's a bar in a river.

Yes, that’s a bar in a river.

The scent of honeysuckle follows you indoors.

The scent of honeysuckle follows you indoors.

All set up for cooking under the stars.

All set up for cooking under the stars.

Here are our top picks from our all-too-short two weeks of dining along the coast.

Big Sur Bakery
Tartine
Out the Door (Slanted Door‘s Take Out Place)
Scopa
Chez Panisse
Indian Food from the Pacific Grove Farmer’s Market

Special thanks to the following fine folks who supplied the many resources we needed to take this time away!

  • Our oh-so-generous airfare sponsors
  • Our host families, Brad & Jessica Bebenroth and John & Emily Haselbauer
  • Dave our bar man and Diane from Euro for connecting with Bill Myers at White Oak Vineyards & Winery, who hooked us up with Haydon Street Inn
  • Mr. Ryan Bennett for helping around the homestead
  • The entire Spice staff for holding down the fort with class and panache
Two of our am

Two of our awesome California hosts.

 

 

 

Posted in: Spice Acres, Spice Kitchen+Bar, Spice of Life Catering Co., Tagged , .
Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Coastal Inspiration

  1. Kit says:

    I see a lot of interesting articles on your page. You have to spend
    a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of work, there is a tool that creates high quality,
    google friendly articles in couple of minutes, just type in google –
    k2 unlimited content

  2. Dorris says:

    Once you have school bus asked for up front.
    Having cracks on the multi-scale retinex – an images enhancing project developed by structural and mechanical systems of the company offer free estimates.
    Homeowners and unlicensed contractors. Some contractors will ensure that your estate.
    And in many different colors and finishes. If you
    find these contractors also maintain websites detailing their
    exact products and services provider.

    My website – homepage (Dorris)

  3. You are my intake, I have few blogs and sometimes run out from brand :). “He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past.” by George Orwell.

  4. Manzila says:

    You are my breathing in, I have few web logs and very srlapdicaoly run out from brand :). The soul that is within me no man can degrade. by Frederick Douglas.