Archive for June, 2009

Canales & Fujimoto Walk The Market

paul-bill-stillYesterday’s solstice officially marked the beginning of summer, but already the markets are bursting with incredible produce.   New things keep showing up every week; out of this world strawberries, followed by cherries and the rest of the stone fruits, summer squashes, pole beans, and right around the corner the first of the figs.  Continue reading ‘Canales & Fujimoto Walk The Market’

Chef Canales Gives a Tour of the Meat Locker

We installed a large meat locker a few years back that finally provided the space for some more ambitious projects such as receiving whole sides of beef, as well as hanging and aging meat.

In preparation for next week’s visit from Aldo Vacca and Chef Marco Forneris, Chef Canales has been aging some young adult beef, vitellone, from our Potter Valley rancher, Mac Magruder.   The special menu will feature the rib eyes and loins, and the chuck eye rolls will make a fine Brasato al Barbaresco.

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A Visit From Two Piedmontese Friends


June 25th and June 26th

Essential to the Oliveto Wine in Time project is Aldo Vacca, Director of Produttori del Barbaresco. Beginning in 1998, he has helped shape our ideas about wine, introduced us to many other fine producers, found old wine for our list, been a great host and friend, and helped us acquire hours of video tape about the region. On June 25th and 26th, Chef Canales will offer a Piedmontese menu for Produttori del Barbaresco wines. Available are twelve vintages and single vineyards including a very elegant 1979 Ovello. We’ll be serving many of these wines by the glass, half-glass and taste.

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Jenny Makes A Mess…the delicious kind

jenny-hammer-smallerThis week we got another 40 lbs of Red Cloud apricots from Terra Firma, as well as 40 lbs of dry-farmed Royal Blenheim apricots from Mercy Wong in Vacaville.  It was way too much fruit to use, but the always superior Blenheim’s season is so short, I have vowed to buy everything that comes my way (I hate it when a fruit goes out of season before I feel I’ve really celebrated it fully.)  So far I’ve done apricot danishes, apricot muffins, apricot caramel sauce, apricots in puff pastry, apricots baked in Marsala, apricot ice cream, and a big vat of apricot jam.   Of course there’s another list of things to do now we’re really in the thick of it.

Wonderfully, inside each apricot is the noyau- a seed inside of the pit of all stone fruits, including plums, peaches, and cherries.   The noyau inside apricots and peaches looks almost identical to an almond, and is indeed the source of  bitter almond flavor.  Amaretti, the fantastic Italian cookies generally thought Continue reading ‘Jenny Makes A Mess…the delicious kind’

Bill Fujimoto – After Monterey Market

watch_video_bill_fujimotoHere is a brief update/comment from Bill on what’s going on for him after leaving Monterey Market. It’s an enormously complicated and difficult situation for him, and obviously, there are things he cannot say. We see farmers everyday who are affected by Bill not being at Monterey Market, some who have stopped deliveries in support of Bill, and some who continue to deliver (diminished orders), but feel bad about it. To some farmers, Bill’s departure is devastating. Most of our food comes directly from farmer’s deliveries to the restaurant and farmers’ markets, so it is only our pastry chef, Jenny Raven, who is scrambling for alternatives. Jenny gets exceptional berries and figs, and ripe, full-flavored citrus, from Bill.

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Tomato Watch Week 11 – Brookside Farm


Anne Tom and Welling Tom of Brookside Farm in Brentwood stopped by this morning with a tomato update and some pictures of their San Marzano and Early Girl plants.  Due to the recent cool weather, Welling estimates the tomatoes will be ready to go to market by mid-July.   Continue reading ‘Tomato Watch Week 11 – Brookside Farm’

Menu for Oliveto Oceanic Dinners 2009


Wednesday through Saturday, June 10 through 13

Appetizers and Salads

Plates Expressing the Best Catch of the Day (Raw, Salted, Marinated, and Smoked)*

Various Salted, Marinated, and Smoked Fish

Platter of Oceanic terrines and preserves

Carpaccio of local swordfish with red miso maionese, Espelette pepper, and black mustard

Salade Niçoise:  classic Provençal salad of fish, vegetables, olives, egg, and herbs

Seaweed salads (red and green tosaka)

Chilled octopus soppressata with Castelvetrano olives, celery heart, and Monte Iblei olive oil

Shaved Oliveto tuna bresaola with chilled spinach, roasted beets, and pine nuts

Green sea urchin flan with old aceto balsamico

Charcoal-grilled Chatham haddock wrapped in grape leaves

Fritto misto:  soft shell crab, monkfish liver, steamer clam and wild fennel fritelle, and surf fish with Cecil Brunner rose vinegar sauce Continue reading ‘Menu for Oliveto Oceanic Dinners 2009′

Bill & Judy Fujimoto Leave Monterey Market


Many people looked here to find information about what was happening with Monterey Market and Bill Fujimoto.  We remain very concerned and will try to post updates as we have them. Yesterday, Bill and Judy Fujimoto were no longer employed by Monterey Market.  Although it had been reported that Bill will be retiring, this is not the case.  Bill needs to work.  But, after making Monterey Market his whole life for the past thirty years, he’ll take some time to figure out what he wants to do next.  Many, including us, remain hopeful that the family board will come to their senses.  We’ll also be talking to local farmers as they  figure out how Bill’s leaving will be affecting them.  Lisa Brenneis sent us the following report of the scene at Monterey Market on Wednesday. Continue reading ‘Bill & Judy Fujimoto Leave Monterey Market’

Lucero Strawberries Have Hit Their Peak

lucero_strw_film2Among other things, Lucero Organic Farm is known for their long stem Seascape strawberries.    Ben Lucero has been growing this same variety of strawberry for years, even after he moved his farm inland from the coast to Lodi.  Ben believes that great strawberries are the product of close attention and judicious watering, not a certain variety, location, or climate.  As a result, Lucero strawberries are a concentration of bright, vibrant flavor.

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Tomato Watch Week 10 – First Wave of Early Girls

dirty_girl_wk_10Another thrilling episode from the sunny studios of Dirty Girl Productions!

Last time we heard from Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce, he had just finished planting his first wave of dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes.

It is now June and the plants have not been watered since April.  But thanks to a well-developed root system, they are looking healthy and robust and are expected to be producing ripe fruit by mid-July.  Watch Video. Continue reading ‘Tomato Watch Week 10 – First Wave of Early Girls’