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Photograph by Amber Turley
Life of Pie: The pie contest at UCSC's Harvest Festival saw some wicked competition.


And the winners of the pie-baking contest are...


OCEAN VIEW Auction winners from the annual Long Marine Lab fundraiser that takes place each June gathered for the second year in a stunning hilltop home above Davenport to promote sustainable seafood and, of course, eat some. Guests sampled a series of dishes crafted by Tom McNary, chef and owner of Carried Away Foods in Aptos, while gazing out at the sparkling sea. The Chez Panisse alum spoke about his dedication to supporting sustainable food systems, a commitment deliciously evident in the four diverse salads the attendees tasted and judged. It was tough to choose a winner from the smoked fish salad (Dave's Gourmet Albacore) with Asian pears, frisée and lemon-chive vinaigrette; the Thai-style squid salad with mint and cilantro; the niçoise-style grilled albacore with sweet peppers and basil; and the wild salmon with fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, summer beans and aioli. By one vote, the salmon was deemed the winner. Visit Carried Away for similarly quality-driven wonders. 831.685.3926 or

HIDDEN GEM For the last two years, Lifestyles Culinary Arts has been tucked away in a corner of downtown, unbeknownst to a majority of the community. Owner and chef Andrea Waters started the catering and lunch delivery company with the worthy goal of providing a healthy solution to quick to-go alternatives. However, most people outside of the surrounding downtown businesses that are visited by Lifestyle's food runners have yet to sample those goods-—until now. The renovation is complete at the lofty, elegantly decorated Cooper Street location, which holds a commercial kitchen, comfortable gathering spaces and a sunny garden courtyard, all suitable for full catered events or just a nice simple lunch. Everyone can now enjoy access to Lifestyle's lunch counter for a selection of affordable made-to-order sandwiches, salads and "snack trios," special petite themed servings—such as the Moroccan trio with couscous salad, green beans and yogurt vinaigrette. "We want to have our own niche of healthier food, a small variety that's simple and sophisticated," says Waters. Find out what she means on Cooper Street between Pacific and Front or at 831).466.5092.

The Pie tasters Pie is always good, but right now, with the weather cooling down, the welcome warmth of an oven makes pie-baking especially appealing. On Oct. 6, UCSC's Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems hosted its annual Harvest Festival on campus. Little kids skipped among the pumpkins and scarecrows while the grownups took in a bluegrass band, cooking demos, tours and, of course, the apple pie contest. Becoming a judge "involves a bit of nepotism and a bit of luck," according to second-year farm apprentice Deborah Greig, and what a gig. The winner was Tina Michalik with her deep-dish apple tart with crumble nut topping. Second place was a classic rendition made by Stephanie Rosenbaum using lard from Severino's Community Butcher. Third place went to a visually stunning lattice top pie with an almond meal crust and bright pink delight apples. Sounds pretty good to me.

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