Our dining scene has a bit of a chip on its shoulder—and not the savory, delicious kind. Despite all the culinary talent here over the years, Santa Cruz County has never really been taken seriously as a dining destination. But sometimes all it takes to change conventional wisdom—and attract attention to all of the interesting other things that are happening here—is one high-profile addition to the foodie landscape. Some like … a three-star Michelin restaurateur moving into the neighborhood? Exactly.
That’s why David Kinch’s latest endeavor Mentone is the most anticipated opening in this area in a long time. But what exactly does the Manresa mastermind have planned for us? Find out in Christina Waters’ interview in this issue. And while you’re at it, check out Georgia Johnson’s profile of the Dueck brothers, who are trying to bring a similar kind of transformation to Watsonville’s scene with the Hangar. Can it be the kind of culinary hub that South County has been lacking?
While we’re on the subject of big changes, Tabitha Stroup—who we’ve written about in the past as the culinary innovator who turned her small, artisan Friend in Cheeses Jam Company into a national business—is doing something truly different with her newest company, and trying to change the world in the process. You’ll find all that, plus breakfast, the spritzer trend and more in this issue. Let’s dive in!
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR