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Hello eaters! Jessica M. Pasko here. While Lily is out on maternity leave, I’m pitching in on the latest local food news. A little about me — I’m a writer and a native of upstate New York, living in Santa Cruz for over a decade. Our rich food culture is just one of the many things I love about our region, and I’m especially interested in the stories of the people who grow, serve and make the food we eat. Now, let’s dig in!

My Thai Beach in Capitola back open after storm devastation

Repairs of storm damage unearthed some old signage at My Thai Beach in Capitola Village

“We had a small budget to work with so we had to do a lot of our own work,” owner Dominick King said of getting My Thai Beach back up and running after the Capitola Village restaurant was battered by January storm surge. “By the grace of the support of the community, we got there.” Read more here.

Trestles chef/owner planning new Italian-inspired spot in Aptos

The building that will house Cavalletta

The Aptos location that previously housed Restaurant Malik Williams is getting new tenants, with Nick Sherman, chef/owner of Trestles in Capitola, and Shawn Ryberg hoping to launch Cavalletta by summer. Read more here.

Santa Cruz author publishes new smoothie compendium

The cover of

Gabriel Constans has spent decades concocting and sharing recipes for healthy, tasty, kid-focused smoothies, and he has compiled his greatest hits into “Papa’s Favorite Smoothies.” Read more here.

Watsonville farmers’ market El Mercado tackles food insecurity, promotes healthy living PC Image

A bevy of beverage news

A promotional flier for Santa Cruz Cider Co.'s release of Yappy Hour

Santa Cruz Cider launches a new offering for a good cause and Capitola Village Sip & Stroll returns this weekend, and save spots on your oenophile calendar for gatherings at Big Basin Vineyards’ Pacific Avenue tasting room, Lupulo and Equinox. Read more here.

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Peas and proscuit salad, prepared according to a recipe in
Peas and proscuit salad, prepared according to a recipe in “Salad Freak.” Credit: Ashley Spencer / Lookout Santa Cruz

This year’s historic rainfalls, and the accompanying flooding, put a major damper on local crops, delaying planting and cutting the season short for some products. With the weather finally starting to warm up and barbecue season growing closer, Ashley Spencer is craving seasonal fare. She spoke with local chefs and growers to get tips on how to make the most of what we’ve got on the Central Coast. Check out her piece here.


60% – That’s the number of people who said they plan to dine out this coming Mother’s Day, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. It’s typically one of the busiest days for restaurants.

“It would be inappropriate in these times to present lampreys to anybody. He [the king] wouldn’t like it.” — Lord-Lieutenant Edward Gillespie, a representative for King Charles III, speaking in The New York Times about a break with a 800-year-old culinary tradition involving eel pie. This year, for the first time, the city of Gloucester presented the new king with a pie made from pork, not lamprey eels. While still eaten in some parts of Europe, lamprey eels have mostly fallen out of fashion in England. (If you Google an image of a lamprey eel, you might understand why their popularity has dwindled.)


… for one. To be fair, that’s been my status for much of 2023. My partner’s job changed at the start of this year, meaning that the nights on which we can have dinner together at home at the same time are fewer and farther between. These days, we’re more apt to fend for ourselves on weeknights and on weekends, we tend to be out and about, which means we’re more likely to dine out or get takeout. And if I’m being very honest, when it comes to weeknight cooking, I’ve gotten very lazy as of late. No more carefully created meal plans; instead, I’ve been reverting to a lot more grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta dishes and tacos. (I am a firm believer that you can put almost anything in a tortilla.) Some weeks I’ll make a big batch of something on a Sunday or Monday and then eat it for the next few days, though by midweek, I’m usually ready for anything else. It’s been a soup-heavy winter and spring. In recent weeks, I’m much more likely to whip something up quickly and eat it mindlessly while trying to do a million other things. I’ve definitely lost some steam when it comes to cooking for one.

This hasn’t always been the case. I used to get a lot of pleasure out of cooking fancy meals for myself. I’ve gotten into a funk and it’s time to change things up. With warmer weather on the horizon (I hope), I am looking forward to getting inspired by what’s in season at the farmers markets and reinvigorating some of my creativity for cooking for one. What’s your favorite go-to for solo weeknight dinners?


World food prices rise for first time in a year, UN food agency says (Reuters)
Outside Lands reveals 2023 food lineup, festival’s biggest ever (San Francisco Chronicle)
The king has definite ideas about food. But will Britain dig in? (The New York Times)

Happy eating!

~ Jessica

Jessica M. Pasko has been writing professionally for almost two decades.She cut her teeth in journalism as a reporter for the Associated Press in her native Albany, NY, where she covered everything from...