Monday, December 22, 2014


We just got in a batch of wild gooseneck barnacles. These primordial sea creatures can be found in large numbers all along the Big Sur coast, unfortunately they can't be harvested, because they are an unlisted intertidal species. This means that when the Fish and Wildlife made the regulations, there was not enough interest in the species to warrant adding
them to the list or researching their sustainability.

While gooseneck barnacles are rarely seen on menus in California- they are
very popular in Spain and Portugal, where prime specimens can bring in over
300 Euro per Kilo. The exorbitant price is largely due to the extreme danger involved in harvesting them. Large gooseneck barnacles spend most of their time submerged just below the surface on steep granite cliffs.
During large tidal shifts, when a negative tide occurs, it is possible for harvesters to reach and chisel away the barnacles, but they must constantly battle slippery conditions and large rogue waves.

Our barnacles were wild harvested on a pristine stretch of the Oregon coast. It took over 6 months for our source to get the perfect harvesting conditions, and we were thrilled to see them show up this week! The meat of the barnacles is surprisingly delicious, somewhere between crab and
escargot with a mild sweetness, intense salinity and subtle earthiness. We experimented with grilling the barnacles with dried hay and quickly blanching them in sea water. Our consensus was to cook the barnacles just enough to remove them from their shells - 10-15 seconds.

Tonight we made a local artichoke and barnacle barigoule with spicy chorizo and crispy bay scented potatoes.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Local smoked mackerel with pickled anchovies, garden brassicas and garlic purée.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Cocoa butter encased beets with gold and black salt-sutffed with mole inspired goat cheese - a passed appetizer for this year's Meals On Wheels Culinary Classique.

Monday, December 8, 2014

An Evening Walk on the Coast

Earlier this week I was walking along the coast between Big Sur and Monterey when I came across this incredible native mortar rock hidden in the tall grass. There is nothing more humbling that thinking about the thousands of years of cooks who have made this coast their home.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Winter Musings

Working on new menus with an espresso and the new Art of Eating is a guilty pleasure...