The green thumbs of Ben Lomond’s vibrant Mountain Feed & Farm Supply will be rolling out a new workshop series this summer called Bringing the Harvest Home. Supporting regional ag, these workshops will focus on preserving foodstuffs to fill your pantry using fresh produce direct from farms and delivered to the participants at Mountain Feed on the day of the class. Think of it as a homegrown “meet and greet” between farmers and home-preservers, as well as a way to keep your pantry stocked with peak harvest all year long,
On Aug. 11, Canning Tomatoes provides an intensive class in creating new tomato recipes such as tomato paste, ketchup and soup. Preservationist extraordinaire Jessica Tunis—a self-described food nerd—will walk participants through the basics of canning whole tomatoes. Tunis has been doing this for a decade, and her lively style in the kitchen will make the class accessible to the beginner as well as those who already have some skills in preserving foods. Bringing the Harvest Home classes are two hours long, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., $60. Participants will take home recipes, a flat of produce, a case of jars, and the new skills to preserve new harvests in bulk. Pre-registration is required—these classes will fill up fast, so reserve your space now! mountainfeed.com.
As the Soif Spins
Patrice Boyle, prime mover and shaker of La Posta and Soif, contacted me with the bracing news that there’s a new chef in the Soif kitchen. As of Aug. 1, Tom McNary, formerly of Carried Away, now heads the restaurant of the durable wine bar and dining room, replacing the brief tenure of Marshall Bishop. Turns out that McNary and Boyle share a large and growing passion for all things farmers market—the growers, the fresh-harvest action, and the amazingly vibrant produce. “Ultimately, what we serve people matters,” Boyle explains. “And it is something I need to stand behind. When I opened Soif in 2002 we were not big farmers market shoppers, and I realize now I have become a bit of a zealot.” And she’s not alone. We all run into our friends, neighbors, and work colleagues at one or the other of our county’s incredible weekly farmers markets. “I think local farming is important and makes a difference, not the least of which is that it’s delicious,” Boyle says. Soif is on the verge of intensifying its devotion to the fresh and the local, as well as sophisticated cocktails and far-flung wines. Anticipate seeing farm fresh vegetables, herbs, cheeses, fruits, pastured meats appear with increasing vigor on the menus at Soif.
“Tom shares that point of view,” Boyle says. “There are certain areas where that alignment is crucial, and this is a big one for both of us.” The new Soif chef is already underway checking out the kitchen territory. And while the menu won’t immediately reflect a radical change,
we can expect McNary’s influence—with the help of farmers market foraging—to show up in the days and weeks ahead. “It’s always exciting here,” Boyle confirms. Not a bad phrase to describe the entire Soif experience. Always exciting. Stop by, order something cool and wet, and welcome chef Tom McNary to his new gig.
Spirits of the Week
Shakespearean Pop-Ups at The Grove in DeLaveaga Park. On Friday, Aug. 10, look for Venus Sprits to be serving “Venus” inspired cocktails—at the opening of Venus in Fur, of course. And the following week, Saturday, Aug. 18, Birichino offers tasting flights for $5 before Romeo and Juliet. More reasons to see this season’s Santa Cruz Shakespeare productions!