Dining Reviews

Alice Waters and Homeless Garden Project Join Forces

At-home tasting experience will include digital keynote from food innovator Waters

The renowned Alice Waters will present a digital keynote benefiting the Homeless Garden Project. PHOTO: AMANDA MARSALIS

Two great innovators—California cuisine pioneer Alice Waters and our own Homeless Garden Project—join forces again for the second Sustain in Place video event. 

One of the ingenious “at-home tasting” experiences, this encounter unfolds on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 6:30pm. Renowned restaurateur, author, and sustainable food innovator Waters will present a digital keynote talk for you to pair with chocolate truffles, wine, and other sensory pleasures from the HGP gift shop.

Few diners in the United States are strangers to the reputation Waters enjoys as a leader of the farm to table movement, and many of us lucky enough to live in the Bay Area treasure our memories of special dinners at her impeccable dining spot, Chez Panisse.

Guests will also have the opportunity to pick up a gift bag of New Leaf’s private label Common Vines wine, bottled locally by Bargetto, delicious truffles from Mutari Chocolate and HGP’s own hand-dipped beeswax candles, in a reusable tote bag.

A quick refresher on Waters, easily one of the most influential American chefs of the late 20th century. The founder of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, the original home of California cuisine, Waters is the author of eight books inspired by organic ingredients and robust flavors. Waters advocates for natural and organic foods, and champions the importance of locally grown and fresh ingredients. Her Edible Schoolyard program was integrated into the Berkeley school system and attracted nationwide attention.

By stressing the importance of wholesome foods as an important part of creating a more just and sustainable world, she helped reshape the conversation in the U.S. about corporate-controlled fast-foods. Waters’ remarks have been recorded exclusively for this HGP event. Details about the event and all its delicious accompaniments are available at the eventbrite ticket site (see below). 

Guests can pick up bags from HGP’s downtown store, at 1338 Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz, anytime from noon-6pm on Friday, Nov. 13, and Saturday, Nov. 14. A link will be sent exclusively to attendees for the Nov. 14 online event. Ticket holders may also watch the presentation at their convenience any time after that. For tickets, go to the Homeless Garden Project website or eventbrite.com/e/a-sweet-event-with-alice-waters-tickets-124359644043

Thanksgiving Wines

A few wine strategies for the Thanksgiving table. Turkey loves a crisp white wine. Something like a Chardonnay made by Ryan Beauregard. Or a rosé from Nicole Walsh’s Ser Winery. On the other hand, it can also love Grenache—as in Birichino and Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. I have a bottle of crisp, Burgundian-style Beauregard Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 from the estate ranch lined up to go with my turkey dinner. Neutral oak allows this beautifully-made white wine to express the terroir of Ben Lomond Mountain, from tones of citrus and chalk to fresh mountain minerals. More suggestions next week.

Tidbits

Big Basin Vineyards is moving its tasting room to Santa Cruz this spring. Exciting news! The pop-up market at Mentone in Aptos offers the luxurious breads and pastries of Manresa Bread every Saturday throughout this year, 9am-1pm.

Also check out the Pearl Alley Outdoor Market this coming Saturday, Nov. 14, for Manresa Breads and other fresh ideas. 

A fond farewell to Rosie McCann’s, a lively Santa Cruz pub, saloon, and gathering place for more than 20 years. We’ll hoist a pint in your honor!

Christina Waters was born in Santa Cruz and raised all over the world (thanks to an Air Force dad), with real-world training in painting, music, winetasting, trail running, organic gardening, and teaching. She has a PhD in Philosophy, teaches in the Arts at UCSC and sings with the UCSC Concert Choir. Look for her recent memoir “Inside the Flame” at bookstores everywhere.

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