Plates laid out at a Homeless Garden Project Sustain Supper event
(Via Homeless Garden Project)
Food & Drink

Lily Belli on Food: Vegetarian Japanese cooking, fish jerky goes big, Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper

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!

Champion of Japanese home cooking goes all-vegetarian with latest cookbook

Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s dedication to all facets of the eating experience in Japan has resulted in a series of cookbooks, with the latest, “Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook,” bringing her to Bookshop Santa Cruz for an in-person conversation May 16. Read more here.

Pescavore’s fish jerky mavens prep for upcoming natural foods competition

Pescavore's tuna jerky.
(Via Pescavore)

Clarice and Matt Owens are set to pitch Santa Cruz-based Pescavore and its line of fish jerky to retailers and investors next week at an Oakland event, with a trip to a bigger, national stage on the line. Read more here.

Scotts Valley Farmers Market

Homeless Garden Project prepares for annual Summer Sustain Supper

Guests at a Homeless Garden Project Sustain Supper event
(Via Homeless Garden Project)

June 17 is the date for this year’s Summer Sustain Supper, a key fundraiser for the local nonprofit Homeless Garden Project. There’ll be a farm tour, music and wine, with the centerpiece a multicourse dinner prepared by a roster of local chefs using organic produce grown on the Westside farm. Read more here.

Ringing in spring at Lupulo with rhubarb celebration

(Jessica M. Pasko / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Downtown’s Lupulo Craft Beer House will be the setting May 13 for rhubarb-focused food and drink, with special beverages pouring, a pie-making contest and more. Read more here.


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Outside Humble Sea Brewing's Westside headquarters
(Laura Sutherland / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Thirsty? Laura Sutherland has compiled a handy guide to all of the breweries around Santa Cruz County. Check it out here.


27% — That’s the estimated percentage of how many farms within a quarter-mile of Pajaro Valley Unified School District schools are using organic methods, according to Watsonville-based Campaign for Organic and Regenerative Agriculture (CORA.) The organization is fighting to get farms to stop spraying pesticides and go organic. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda has more here.

Floodwaters creep across Highway 1 just south of the Santa Cruz-Monterey county line
Floodwaters creep across Highway 1 just south of the Santa Cruz-Monterey county line after the breach of the Pajaro River levee.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

“The critical time during the spring has been lost. Of those fields that aren’t affected to that degree, the harvest is going to occur later in the year and it’s going to be a shorter growing season.” Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau president Dennis Webb, speaking to Lookout about the impact of the flooding in the Pajaro Valley.


… my pantry and freezer. I hate food waste, I enjoy trying different kitchen experiments and I love picking up different food items as souvenirs on trips. I also come from a family of people who live to make things. The combination of these factors tends to result in a very packed freezer and cupboard. In my freezer at any given time I have everything from a bag full of bread heels to containers of pesto from last summer’s basil to the gallon freezer bag I keep for vegetable scraps destined for stock. The cupboards are packed with staples in addition to the various jars of pickles and jams I’ve made or been given, an absurd amount of condiments, at least two or three jars of maple syrup from a relative’s property, and much more. It’s getting a little out of hand. So this week, my goal is to go through what I’ve stockpiled, take inventory and make a conscious effort to actually use the things I’ve been saving. This will inevitably result in some very creative and interesting meal choices for the coming week. I foresee a lot of rice bowls in my future. Wish me luck!


Salt Bae’s former employees describe tip theft, polyester uniforms and discrimination within the memeable meat empire (Business Insider)
The hottest drama on Linkedin is a fight about olive oil design (Fast Company)
10 pioneers who served up the California cuisine movement (California Local)

Happy eating!

~ Jessica