Calling Card: Seafood Watch Program advocates can use these cards to educate restaurateurs.
Now you can give restaurants that serve Chilean sea bass a piece of your mind.
By AMBER TURPIN
Watch the Seafood Disappear
This part of the world is ahead of the curve when it comes to marine science research. Pair that with a progressive position on food and sustainability and out comes the Seafood Watch program, a creation of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, whose handy pocket guide has spread far and wide in a successful effort to raise the national consciousness about fish consumption. The newest development in Seafood Watch is the restaurant program, in which local eating establishments commit to purchase, prepare and serve only sustainable seafood from the "safe" list on the Seafood Watch card. Serena Federman is helping to launch the program this month. She provided this initial list of local businesses that are getting on board: Carniglia's, Café La Vie, Hula's Island Grill, La Posta, Michael's on Main, Ristorante Avanti and Soif. She also told me about the Seafood Watch Advocate program, a consumer-based effort to persuade restaurants to serve sustainable seafood. By going to the "simple actions you can take" link on the Aquarium's homepage, you can download and print "Thank You" or "Become Aware" cards to leave at your favorite restaurants, depending on what they're serving. See www.montereybayaquarium.org.
IT'S GOOD FOR YOU!
California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) was founded in 1973 as one of the first organizations to certify processed foods and produce as organic. Since then it's become widely recognized on an international scale through broad outreach and education. That familiar logo instills a bit of trust in us consumers, regardless of how convoluted and complex the legalities of today's food standards have become. It's also nice seeing that seal in some random location like Ohio and knowing that CCOF resides right here on the Westside of Santa Cruz. On Friday, Oct. 26, at 4pm, CCOF's second annual organic beer and wine tasting is taking place at the Ferry Building (Embarcadero at Market Street) in San Francisco. At least 25 different organic beer and wine producers will be pouring their products while live music and a silent auction keep the chi flowing. Ferry Building food vendors will be pairing samples of their goods with the libations. Tickets are $25 for 10 tastes or $15 for five tastes. Visit www.ccof.org.
The Santa Cruz Pasta Factory, open since August, was "established with a goal to provide reasonably priced, homemade family meals based on the daily preparation of fresh pasta products," say owners Steve and Cathie Simmonovich. The straightforward yet comprehensive menu features at least 10 different raviolis with diverse fillings (think roasted artichoke hearts and feta or pear and pecorino) and a wide variety of classic and flavored fresh pastas along with several sauces, all available to take home or eat there. All of the ravioli and pasta is made daily on-site. Signature made-to-order deli sandwiches (on Kelly's breads) and salads, like the lemon fusilli pasta salad with tomato, arugula and feta, are available as well. We have it on good authority that "The Godfather" sandwich is "very East Coast." Visit them at 5340 Scotts Valley Drive in, yes, Scotts Valley, call 831.461.9900 or go to www.santacruzpastafactory.com.