Lily Belli on Food: Sante Adairius now 100% woman-owned, inside Chef’store and a turkey to savor
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… In a notable move in the local beer scene and the larger craft beer industry, Adair Paterno, co-founder and owner of Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, purchased former owner and brewer Tim Clifford’s ownership interest. The two founded the internationally recognized brewery in 2012 in Capitola, and it now also has locations in Santa Cruz and Oakland. This makes Sante Adairius the only 100% woman-owned brewery in the county, joining a tiny percentage of craft breweries in America where women are the sole proprietor. Just 2.9% of craft breweries are owned entirely by women, while 41.4% of craft breweries have at least one female owner, according to a survey by the Brewers Association in 2021.
Men dominate the craft beer industry, but there are many women who have vital roles at Santa Cruz County’s craft breweries. Of the 14 locally owned breweries in the county, six have at least one female owner. Santa Cruz’s Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, where Emily Thomas is the majority owner, boasts the only female head brewer, Taylor Settanni. Local tap houses Lúpulo Craft Beer House in Santa Cruz, Beer Thirty in Soquel and Beer Mule in Watsonville also have female owners at the top. And every March, Fruition Brewing, co-owned by Tallula Preston, hosts a brew in conjunction with Pink Boots Society, a national organization that promotes women and nonbinary individuals in the craft beverage industry.
… I stopped into the new US Foods Chef’store on Commercial Way in Santa Cruz, which opened last month, to see what the 23,000-square-foot restaurant supply store has to offer. While the quantities and types of products are geared toward restaurants, anyone can shop there and you don’t need a membership. Bulk foods line many of the aisles, including bulk meats, dairy products and fruits and vegetables. The prices seemed comparable to Costco. Some foods come in sizes that you might grab for a big party, and the store sells others in quantities that only a restaurant would buy — if you need a 5-gallon bucket of sour cream or a 50-pound bag of rice, this is the spot.
There is a decent selection of Latin American ingredients, like canned tomatillos and nopales, as well as Asian ingredients, including bulk coconut milk and hondashi. You’ll also find bulk spices, plastic storage containers, insulated Cambro containers, chafing dishes, trash cans and all manner of paper products, plus an impressive collection of Torani syrups. I also found two random products that are worth picking up with you’re there: Ghirardelli Chocolate Double Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix is my household’s go-to brownie mix, and Flavacol, a seasoning salt that will turn your homemade popcorn into movie theater popcorn — just don’t read the ingredient list.
Here’s what I didn’t see: any organic products. All of the food is conventional. If choosing organic food is important to you, you won’t find it here. However, I did see compostable ware, napkins and plates.
… Restaurant owners, chefs and patrons, I need your help. Most often, my reporting focuses on restaurateurs and the head in the kitchen, but as the end of the year approaches I want to showcase and honor the staff members who keep our favorite culinary businesses open. Do you have a dishwasher on your staff who shows up for every shift? Or an all-star line cook who executes every dish with precision and care? Do you know an unflappable server who never fails to make even the most difficult customers feel at ease? If these valuable members of the hospitality industry didn’t show up, our restaurant world would crumble, and I’d like to give them their due.
Do you have someone in mind? Email me at email@example.com by Friday, Dec. 2, put “Industry Nomination” in the subject and share why they deserve to step into the spotlight.
ON THE MENU
Alderwood Pacific aims to open on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz in a few weeks, and will offer a more casual — although no less thoughtful — vibe than its fine dining sister restaurant, Alderwood Santa Cruz, located just a few blocks away. It’s one of several new ventures that Alderwood’s parent company, Santa Cruz Sky, has opened already or plans to open in the coming months. Lookout spoke with Executive Director of Operations Sam Woods on the local restaurant group’s expansion and its plans to transform Santa Cruz’s dining scene. Look for the story later this week.
4 — Number of dollars it takes to receive a dozen eggs from Glaum Egg Ranch’s egg vending machine and activate an animatronic chicken show. Read about this local gem in Friday’s Eaters Digest.
“What each jurisdiction needs in terms of outdoor dining rules are different. It wouldn’t make sense for the same rules to apply to a business in Capitola, on the coast, as one in Scotts Valley.” — Stephanie Hansen, the principal planner of Santa Cruz County’s planning department. Parklets popped up throughout the county during the pandemic and now they’re here to stay, but what that means looks different in every community. Lookout’s Thomas Sawano breaks down the conversation and the paths forward in each jurisdiction. Santa Cruz’s parklet program is up for final review at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
LIFE WITH THE BELLIS
If you think the turkey is the most boring part of the Thanksgiving meal, I have a recipe for you. My husband, Mike, brought this recipe into my life the first year we were dating. I invited him to have Thanksgiving with my parents and me, and he boldly volunteered to cook the turkey. I took that as a good sign, but little did I know he had on hand the most delicious turkey recipe, which has now become a family tradition.
The unlikely source: BBQPitBoys.com, a collective of barbeque enthusiasts who put out a series of YouTube videos cooking everything from fresh fish to alligators over a grill. The recipe for apple-cider-brined turkey is exceptional and this 15-minute video is a gem. A ZZ Top lookalike casually brines and barbecues a turkey in the backwoods of some unknown location while a gravelly voice narrates the step-by-step process. Beer is imbibed, nothing is measured, the turkey gets brined in a paint bucket and the video is punctuated by several utterances of “mmm yeah” and “oh yeah, gonna taste so good.” Nevertheless, I can vouch that this recipe results in a tender, incredibly flavorful bird that deserves to be a centerpiece at your table — don’t even get me started on the unbelievable turkey stock this makes once the bones are picked clean.
As a bonus, cooking the turkey outside on the grill frees up your oven and gets everyone out of the house — if you’re hosting multiple family members, this might actually be the best part.
THIS WEEK, I’M COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS …
… until Dungeness crab season opens. I’ll probably be waiting a while — last year it didn’t open until a week before Christmas. Thankfully, I can sign up to receive a text alert from H&H Fish Co. when it has fresh crabs available at the shop in the Santa Cruz Harbor. Sign up now, thank me later!
FOOD NEWS WORTH READING
➤ Twelve tasty takeaways from Big Sur Food & Wine (Edible Monterey Bay)
➤ Dumplings recalled by West Coast company (Meat & Poultry)
➤ Sweetgreen to test fully automated restaurants next year (Restaurant Business)
Thanks for reading! Eat well, my friends.