The Homeless Garden Project is trying something a little different: an off-site dinner. The Spirit of Partnership Dinner happens at Patagonia on Thursday, Oct. 24. And I’m telling you this now because it will be almost sold out by the time you read this.
Here’s why: Brad Briske. The chef for this celebration of generosity is the chef/owner of Soquel’s vibrant Home restaurant, formerly of Gabriella Cafe and Carmel’s La Balena. Briske, as many of you know, is an adventurous and passionate cuisinartist who produces dining surprises as well as deeply satisfying dining experiences.
Patagonia is generously hosting this meal at their River Street retail location. Utilizing fresh produce from the Homeless Garden Project farm and the diverse line of Patagonia Provisions, chef Briske and the team from Home are devising a delicious meal featuring appetizers, salad, entrée and dessert guaranteed to reduce diners to a chorus of oohs and aahs. Keynote speaker is Kelly Damewood, CEO of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), a dynamic nonprofit organization that serves organic producers throughout North America by providing USDA Organic certification services, organic advocacy and educational programs. All proceeds from the dinner go to support the Homeless Garden Project’s Two Steps Closer to Home Campaign.
Spirit of Partnership Dinner, 6-9pm on Thursday, Oct. 24. Patagonia, 415 River St., Santa Cruz. homelessgardenproject.org. Tickets from $85.
Ah, the fish tacos, always a destination lunch dish at Gabriella Cafe. When I joined Rita for some endless philosophical chatter and a relaxed lunch there last week, that’s what we wanted—a plate of those irresistible tacos with succulent, shredded cod filet astride soft flour tortillas and splashed with shredded cabbage, cilantro and a sour cream drizzle ($15). The abundant salad that joined the tacos was a treat unto itself. We split one of pastry chef Krista Pollack’s blackberry-mascarpone tarts, which arrived with a lavish cloud of chantilly cream, fresh mint and strawberries ($9). With espresso, the tart could keep any foodie’s dessert lust in check.
Gabriella Cafe, 910 Cedar St, Santa Cruz. 457-1677, gabriellacafe.com.
Alfaro at Chaminade
Winemaker Richard Alfaro will take a break from the last of the grape harvest for Alfaro Family Vineyards for another stellar farm-to-table dinner at Chaminade Resort. A five-course dinner prepared by Chef Pete Page and team will join Alfaro’s specially selected wines. Panoramic views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay are the secret weapon of Chaminade’s outdoor patio seating, with atmosphere to spare. The price of wines, dinner and Alfaro’s colorful vineyard tales is a bargain $115 (tax and tip included).
6pm on Friday, Oct. 25. Chaminade Resort & Spa, 1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz. 475-5600, chaminade.com.