Edible Ojai & Ventura County Summer 2021: Community

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ISSUE 77 • SUMMER 2021



Ventura County Local Coffee Guide



SUMMER 2021 1

LOC ALLY SO U RCE D · S E A SO NAL I N G R E D I E NTS · WOO D FI R E D “ T h e C o n e j o Va l l ey 's B e s t O u td o o r P a t i o D i n i n g ”


(81 8) 575 -304 4




Edible Ojai & Ventura County

community is our specialty Ojai Alisal is nestled in the rolling hills of the upper Ojai Valley and guarded by the majestic Topa Topa mountains. Our beautiful south-facing vineyards dotted with sycamores (or Alisal in Spanish) and California walnuts are touched by strong daily breezes, bringing the spirit of the Rhone region to California.

Locally Sourced . Chef Inspired Seasonal Creations Vibrant Ambiance . Winemaker Events . Dinner Specials Wine Tasting . Artisan Market . Cheese + Charcuterie Edible Summer

Handcrafted wines using only Ojai grown grapes 805-640-3837



Take Out . Patio Dining . Indoor Dining ParadisePantry.com . 805 641 9440 222 East Main Street . Ventura, California 93001

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CONTENTS 4 EDITOR’S LETTER 6 EDIBLE NOTES Balcom Canyon Cider The Mark Sun & Swell

12 TASTES LIKE SUMMER Zukes by the Zillions

18 EDIBLE CONNECTIONS Moving Ahead—Together

24 EDIBLE EXPLORATION Day Trippin’ in the Land of the Lotus Eaters

33 COFFEE CULTURE Kaffee Klatsch: Ventura County Coffee Map (insert) Riding the Next Wave BY MELINDA HAMBRICK



Ojai Community Market


Creating Bite-Sized Curricula for Oxnard Students BY BONNIE RUBRECHT


Wild Fruit Bowl





Partners in Yumminess

The Kentucky Padre



This issue includes a map and guide to locally owned coffeehouses in Ventura County. Look for the icons on the map to find your best coffee experience. The photo on this page is by Anna Christine at Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters.

COVER: The gorgeous salad on our cover is composed (in part) of locally foraged ingredients. The recipe (found on page 43) was created to include THC, but it can just as easily be made without it for a daily summer treat. Photo by Jess Starwood. 2


Edible Ojai & Ventura County

Find a moment to return to Olivella—Ojai Valley Inn’s signature fine-dining destination. Inspired by classic Italian tradition fused with quintessential California fare, Chef Andrew Foskey creates a seasonally driven menu featuring valley-grown, local ingredients. Complementing the cuisine, Olivella’s award-winning wine program showcases expertly curated discoveries and classic bottlings from notable Italy and California vintners. To savor Ojai’s freshest flavors, reserve your table today. 855.916.1489 EdibleVenturaCounty.com


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ccording to Google’s dictionary, community is “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.” I grew up with community as part of my DNA. Our neighbor across the street was our babysitter and all the local kids learned to swim in her pool. When we moved to a new neighborhood, my best friend lived three houses down. If we weren’t swimming in her pool or playing Nintendo, we were in my treehouse or exploring the open spaces nearby. As I got older, my community began to expand. In high school and college, it was more centered around activities in which I was involved. That grew even more true and more global with the rise of social media. Suddenly, we were able to find “our tribe” everywhere. Today, one of my dearest friends (a fellow foodie) and I have never even lived in the same state. In nature, a (biological) community is various groups of species interacting together in a common location. Think of a food forest: trees, other plants, animals, insects, fungi and microbes all working together symbiotically. While we can certainly benefit greatly from the global virtual community we have created, there is still something to be said for the health found by mimicking nature. Over the past year (plus) of digital meetings and limited physical interactions, one thing has become pretty clear: We need each other. We need to see the body language of a friend when they are sharing heartache or their greatest joy. We need hugs. We need the community of those like us, who live near us. Yes, there are studies that show this to be true, but didn’t you already feel it? In this community-focused issue, every story is my favorite, but I have a particular affinity for “Moving Ahead—Together” (page 20) because I got to be there, to see “community” happening between Ventura County small business owners connecting over a meal and sharing their mutual experiences. It was cathartic and invigorating—and I hope we get to do it again, and again and again. The bottom line? Community is us. It is you and it is me. And we need each other like never before as we move toward a post-pandemic era and all the confusion and uncertainty sure to come with it. We need connection and innovation. And we need each other to be compassionate and empathetic and patient. Patient most of all. Our community includes some incredible food and food providers. May you share some of that bounty this summer.



Doug Adrianson DESIGN

Cheryl Angelina Koehler CONTRIBUTORS

Robin Goldstein • Melinda Hambrick Joel Huff • Suzanne Luce Bonnie Rubrecht Gisa Seeholzer • Jess Starwood ILLUSTRATORS

Adriel Chu • Claudia Pardo PHOTOGRAPHERS

Victor Budnik • Tami Chu Mariah Green • Jess Starwood SALES

Mary DiCesare mary@edibleventuracounty.com SUBSCRIPTIONS

EdibleVenturaCounty.com info@edibleventuracounty.com CONTACT US

Edible Ojai & Ventura County 2470 Stearns St. #142 Simi Valley, CA 93063 805-622-9355 info@edibleventuracounty.com Founded 2002 by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, Edible Ojai & Ventura County is published seasonally, four times a year. We are an advertising- and subscriber-supported publication, locally and independently owned and operated and a member of Edible Communities, Inc. Distribution is throughout Ventura County and by subscription for $28 per year. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and let us know.

Until next time, happy eating! SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY INITIATIVE Certified Sourcing www.sfiprogram.org SFI-01268



Edible Ojai & Ventura County





The Art of Living and Learning EdibleVenturaCounty.com

living & learning Oak Grove’s expansive, 150-acre campus is reflective of its academic approach: A college preparatory DAY and BOARDING High School with an intimate, home-style boarding program. A rich academic curriculum, emphasizing depth over breadth, spanning PRESCHOOL through HIGH SCHOOL. Engaging OUTDOOR EDUCATION courses that include camping, backpacking, international and domestic travel. This approach prepares students to function with excellence, care, and responsibility in the world.

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n Ventura, Blake Kininmonth and his girlfriend Liz Niles are creating handcrafted cider with just apples in small batches, using traditional beer yeasts and fermentation practices that include no added sugar. “We’re just trying to make something that is cross between a beer and a cider that everyone can enjoy without feeling bloated or tired,” says Kininmonth. The couple met in the Bay Area. Niles, originally from Camarillo, studied environmental sciences at UC Berkeley; Kininmonth grew up in Lodi then studied finance at San Francisco State University. While there, he became a bartender and decided that mixology for fine dining was a better fit than finance. For Niles’ master’s degree studies, they moved together to Portland where, among other things, they found an abundance of blackberries. One year, after picking over 100 pounds of the berries, they had to get creative to use them all. Though they had previously made kombucha, the successful batch of blackberry bramble was their real introduction to alcohol fermentation. Reviews from molecular-gastronomy-focused colleagues at Paley’s Place said that it tasted “like a Bordeaux” and “has characteristics of a Cab with peppery notes.” Inspired, Niles and Kininmonth went on to make blackberry cider, learning the ins and outs of apple-based ferments. Due to family circumstances and a need for better weather, Kininmonth and Niles moved to Ventura County near Balcom Canyon in

2018. Niles, who now sits on the board of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), got a position with Sespe Creek Organics in Fillmore. Kininmonth worked as a mixologist at two separate locations while putting money aside to brew their cider. When COVID-19 hit, and restaurants and bars closed, Kininmonth shifted full-time into building up the business, aptly named Balcom Canyon Cider. “We did a custom crush at a couple wineries,” says Kininmonth. “A custom crush is for when you don’t have the start-up cash to open your own winery or brewery. You can get your beer/wine wholesale license with the ABC [California Alcohol and Beverage Control] and make your wine at a certified facility.” They produced and bottled their first batches of cider at local wineries throughout Ventura County and Kininmonth says, “I was able to self-distribute our product, personally going door to door every day to every bar, restaurant, liquor store.” The cidery currently sources blends of apples from different terroirs in the Pacific Northwest but are looking to use local varietals in the future. “Our Saison Cyser is fermented with Belgian Saison yeast, lightly hopped with Styrian Golding hops and is made with 95% cold-pressed apples from Yakima Valley, 5% freshly extracted orange blossom honey from Blue Ridge Honey in Ojai (literally freshly scraped from the honeycomb and began fermentation same day!)” In early 2021, Niles and Kininmonth signed a lease on a spot in Ventura where they will be able to hand produce and package their ciders for wholesale and online purchasing. They hope to open a tasting room in the future. The cider is currently available at local restaurants, bars and locally owned markets throughout Ventura County, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. For more information or to find a local retailer, visit BalcomCanyonCider.com.

Gisa Seeholzer is a freelance writer and nonprofit leader, with a focus on community and sustainable living. She is a beekeeper and avid gardener with a passion for buying locally sourced organic produce, as well as artisanal goods. In her spare time she runs Marigold Farms, a nonprofit that helps to educate the public on growing their own food. 6


Edible Ojai & Ventura County

Our Markets are OPEN to serve our community during this crisis with safety protocols in place. MASKS REQUIRED in Market

Kicking Off A Better Year!

WEDNESDAYS MIDTOWN VENTURA Pacific View Mall 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Front West Parking Lot on Main Street

THURSDAYS THOUSAND OAKS The Oaks Mall 12 noon - 5:00 pm East End Parking Lot on Wilbur Road




SATURDAYS SUNDAYS DOWNTOWN VENTURA SANTA CLARITA City Parking Lot College of the Canyons 8:30 am - 12 noon 8:30 am - 12 noon Santa Clara Street Parking Lot 5 & Palm Street Rockwell Canyon Road CONNECT WITH US: 805.529.6266 @vccfm Follow our markets on Social Media by visiting our website at www.vccfm.org


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Enjoy the entire meal at The Mark. From left, Rori Trovato, founder of Rori’s Creamery; Jack Dyer, co-founder of Topa Topa Brewing Company and Phil Adler, co-founder of Freda’s Woodfired Kitchen show off treats you can buy in the community space.



e’ve basically been in the process of opening for the two years,” says Phil Adler, owner and co-founder of Freda’s Kitchen, named after his mother and inspiration for opening the wood-fired kitchen: Freda Garber. “[My business partner and I] had a restaurant in Moorpark and sold it, and were pretty happy for the next couple years with our two mobile ovens doing pizza for private events, and then we were approached to open here.” Finally, in February 2021, just before restrictions began to lift, The Mark in Old Town Camarillo opened with modified outdoor seating to offer the community a place to enjoy food created by local artisans. The co-op-styled location includes pizza by Freda’s Woodfired Kitchen, ice cream from Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, and local craft beer from Topa Topa Brewing Company. Each artisan has their own space inside the building, but the community can enjoy all the offerings in common seating areas. Café Ficelle is in the same complex, but separate from the shared space. “The developers of The Mark came to us a few years ago and we thought their vision for this property was great. One of our core values is community spirit, so operating a satellite taproom out of a shared space embodies that value,” says Jack Dyer, co-founder of Topa Topa Brewing Company. Being in such close proximity creates a natural forum for collaborations between artisans. Along with Neapolitan and New York–style pizza, Freda’s serves sandwiches like the Cuban made with slow-roasted pork marinated in Topa Topa’s beer and bread from Café Ficelle. 8


The short ribs used in their short-rib sandwich are braised using Topa Topa’s beer as well. “This summer we are happy to bring in summer salads as well as a house-made pretzel using beer-made mustard with beer from Topa Topa and a cheese sauce,” says Adler. Rori’s Creamery opened with a special Topa Topa beer and bacon-flavored ice cream only available for the first month. “We are so pleased to be a part of The Mark and the Old Town Camarillo community,” says Rori Trovato, owner. “This is a new territory for Rori’s Creamery, which always comes with its challenges. One of those challenges is how the community will receive us. It has been overwhelmingly positive.” That sentiment is clearly shared. “Camarillo, as a city, is a wonderful place to be. They’ve welcomed us; they’ve been pretty nice to us. We’re certainly happy to be here,” says Adler. And says Dyer, “We are just very excited and humbled to bring our brewery’s fresh beer to another great community along the southern Central Coast. We look forward to getting to know the fine folks of Camarillo and building long-lasting friendships with our food partners at The Mark.” “This is the place to be this summer!” says Trovato. And we agree. The Mark 2024 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo Edible Ojai & Ventura County

WINE • BEER • FOOD Featuring artisan wine and craft beer by-the-glass or bottle. Creative food menu and gourmet Panini. Serving lunch and dinner.

WINE CLUB DISCOUNTS WINE TASTING THUR-SUN BOTTLE SHOP, WINE BAR & CHEESE MARKET HOURS M o n d a y C l o s e d | Tu e / We d 1 2 – 7 P M Th u r / F r i / S a t 1 2 – 9 P M | S u n d a y 1 2 – 5 P M


2 4 2 3 Ve n t u r a B lvd . , C a m a r i l l o , CA 9 3 0 1 0 (805) 383-9812 | wineclosetinc.com


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alking into the Sun & Swell grocery store feels more like entering a very cool office space displaying its products, for now, but the new zero-waste store is just a natural extension of a business Kate and Bryan Flynn started in 2017 “to make healthy and sustainable eating more accessible.” Kate says, “I had switched to a more natural, holistic lifestyle, including eating only ‘whole foods.’ I realized that eating [this way] made me feel better, both physically and mentally. However, when I looked around for packaged foods to accommodate this new eating method, there weren’t any options available.” And a business was born. Sun & Swell Foods provides healthy on-the-go snacks that are organic, plant-based, and free from added sugars, preservatives or flavors. “We carry a wide range of nonperishable dry goods including nuts, seeds, dried fruits, superfoods, baking ingredients, spices, and more!” About a year into their business, the Flynns realized they were helping to solve the health problem but contributing to a waste problem with single-use plastics. With a child on the way, “the world we’d



be leaving behind” came into sharp focus. This began the journey of transitioning their packaging to plastic-free. Now, over 75% of the products they sell come in compostable packaging and include a send-back program for those who do not have access to composting. They also provide eco-friendly shipping: using compostable tape on the shipping boxes and avoiding inkheavy printing and plastic inserts. Sun & Swell Foods is a B-Corp and carefully considers the impact their decisions have on community, consumers and the environment. According to the Flynns, “Profit, people, planet and purpose all can (and should) coexist.” The grocer currently carries their own products and a small variety of other locally made and sourced zero-waste items. Sun & Swell 2686 Johnson Dr., Ste. B, Ventura SunAndSwellFoods.com

Edible Ojai & Ventura County

Photos courtesy of Sun & Swell Foods


Chocolates Inspired by the Iconic and Eccentric Artist, Beatrice Wood

“I owe it all to chocolate, art books and young men.” -Beatrice “Beato” Wood

Beatrice Wood’s art, spirit and love of the “reasonable and unreasonable” inspired us to create Beato Chocolates, a line of artisan creations formed from her original pottery molds and Dadaist works. Our chocolates are handmade using fair trade local ingredients in Wood’s beloved Ojai, California. Located inside the Porch Gallery Ojai Beato Chocolates | 310 E. Matilija Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 | www.beatochocolates.com

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Camarillo | San Luis Obispo | LightGablerLaw.com | 805.248.7208


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Edible Ojai Ojai & & Ventura Ventura County County Edible

Photo by Victor Budnik

Zukes by the Zillions

ell, it has happened again. After battling powdery mildew, garden pests, blossom end rot and issues with sun, water and soil, my zucchini plants have taken off and now I am overrun. I always start with the best intentions, even with plans about how this year we will eat every single summer squash. But just one week of ignoring the garden results in at least three very large, much-too-mature, how-are-we-going-to-eat-these, slightly bitter fruits and a dozen or more just-the-right-size, tender courgettes. Zucchini descended from domesticated squash that originated in Central and South America but in the 1800s was cultivated into its current form in Milan, Italy, which is where it got its curious name. The fruits, blooms and leaves are all edible, though the younger plants tend to have fresher flavors; bitterness comes with age, in this case. While a mature fruit can grow over three feet long, zucchini should be (and usually is) harvested while still immature, or at about six to 10 inches. Rich in antioxidants (mostly in the skin), manganese, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and K, zucchini has been shown to support the immune system and vision health, making it a great choice to add to recipes. While it can be eaten raw, a quick grill, steam, broil or roast increases the bioavailability of vitamin A in the fruit and keeps it from getting mushy. Thankfully, especially as the garden kicks into high gear, zucchini can be added to nearly anything. Due to its very mild flavor, it is an incredibly versatile food, finding its way into both savory and sweet recipes. It is a great low-carb alternative for pasta and can be spiralized or sliced to substitute for spaghetti, linguini or lasagna noodles in most recipes. If you like to get sneaky, it can be blended into sauces and soups for a boost of nutrients without any impact on flavor or texture. The following recipes—by Joel Huff, chef and co-owner of Frontside Café in Ventura—offer a way to up your zucchini game with adventurous new takes on some old classics.

Aussie-Style Smashed Avocado Toast with Zucchini Ribbons Photo by Viktor Budnik Impress friends and family alike with this upgraded and very seasonal version of the popular avocado toast. Let your inner artist flow by making this as decorative and beautiful as it tastes. Serves 4 1 yellow and 1 green small zucchini, peeled lengthwise into very thin ribbons ½ teaspoon kosher salt Juice of 1 lime 1 loaf rustic sourdough, sliced and toasted (try Ojai Rotîe) 2 avocados, smashed 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios, toasted 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced ⅓ cup mint leaves ⅓ cup cilantro leaves Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling Flaky Maldon sea salt (or other flake salt) and freshly ground pepper In a colander, toss zucchini ribbons with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and half of the lime juice. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Top toasted bread with smashed avocado and toasted pistachios. Place on top zucchini ribbons, jalapeño, cilantro and mint. Drizzle with oil, season with flake salt and pepper and finish with remaining lime juice.

EdibleVenturaCounty.com EdibleVenturaCounty.com

A Ventura County native descended from the Maulhardt farming family, Joel Huff earned his toque working with José Andrés, Ludric Le Preve and Nori Sugie. After executive chef positions in Miami and San Francisco and at Tides in Santa Barbara, he worked six years as a corporate chef for Urbane Café. He and his wife, Charne, an Australian native, recently opened the chic Australian/Coastal California focused Frontside Café in Ventura. SUMMER 2021 13

Roasted Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad Photo by Viktor Budnik Bright and cheery, this summery salad is a great way to incorporate the abundance of the July garden. Serves 2 ¼ loaf crusty Italian bread (olive loaf recommended) Olive oil for drizzle and cooking 1 medium green zucchini 1 medium yellow squash Salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste 1 garlic clove, peeled Honey Mustard Vinaigrette 2 fresh heirloom Cherokee Purple (or other dark purple) tomatoes, diced ¼ cup minced sweet red onion ¼ cup kalamata olives Fresh purple and green basil, minced (save two or three smaller leaves for garnish)

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette ⅓ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon dried oregano Salt and pepper Vigorously whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, oregano and salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut loaf of bread in half lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil. Toast in oven until browned on top, about 10 minutes. While bread is toasting, slice zucchini and squash into ⅛-inch-thick rounds. Sauté in olive oil in single layers over medium heat, turning until both sides are browned, 3 minutes per side. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. As soon as bread is browned, rub raw garlic clove onto both sides of the bread. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl toss bread cubes with vinaigrette, tomatoes, zucchini, onion, olives and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for half an hour before serving to allow flavors to meld. 14 14


Edible Ojai Ojai & & Ventura Ventura County County Edible

Goat Cheese Stuffed Tempura Zucchini Blossoms with Ponzu Sauce Photo by Viktor Budnik This Japanese-influenced spring/summer dish is one yummy way to utilize the abundance of zucchini blossoms without being overwhelmed by the squash itself. The tart citrus-y ponzu sauce utilizes the now locally grown yuzu fruit, which originated in Eastern Asia. All Japanese ingredients are available at local Asian markets. Serves 4 12 zucchini blossoms Rice oil for frying 5 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature 1 tablespoon heavy cream 1 tablespoon honey Salt and shichimi togarashi (Japanese chile seasoning), to taste ½ cup tempura flour ¾ cup ice-cold sparkling water

Remove stamens from flowers, being careful not to tear the delicate petals. Fill a large, heavy saucepan with about 1 inch of rice oil. Set over medium heat and let it come to 350°F. In a bowl, combine goat cheese, cream, honey, salt and shichimi togarashi until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag with ½ inch of the end cut off. Carefully insert tip of bag into a flower and fill with cheese mixture. Gently twist tops of petals to seal.

In a bowl, combine tempura flour and ice-cold sparkling water and whisk until smooth. Using the stem as a handle, dip flowers into batter and flip to coat. Gently lay battered flowers into hot oil. Repeat with another flower, battering and frying about 4 flowers at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan. Fry flowers for 30 to 45 seconds, then flip and fry for another 30 to 45 seconds, until light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack or paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining flowers (skim off any burnt bits and let oil come back up to temperature as needed between batches). Serve warm with ponzu dipping sauce.

EdibleVenturaCounty.com EdibleVenturaCounty.com

Ponzu sauce

Make this several days ahead. ½ cup soy sauce ½ cup yuzu juice 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine) ½ cup bonito flakes 1 small piece kombu (approximately 2–3 inches long)

Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar and mix well. Steep in the refrigerator for 2–3 days or up to a week. After steeping, drain through a sieve to remove bonito flakes and kombu.

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Dukkah-Spiced Zucchini Muffins Photo by Viktor Budnik

Dukkah Spice

A new twist on the traditional sweet zucchini muffin, this nutty savory snack with an Egyptianinfluenced Dukkah seasoning, has just the right combo of flavor and nutrition. Serve as a breakfast or a brunch side dish with a delightful cup of coffee.

½ cup hazelnuts

Makes 8 muffins

2 teaspoons fennel seed

2 medium zucchinis, shredded

1 teaspoon black pepper (about 20– 30 cranks of pepper grinder)

1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped 1 cup cilantro, chopped ½ cup chives, finely chopped

¼ cup white sesame seeds ¼ cup pumpkin seeds 2 teaspoon cumin 2 teaspoon dried thyme 2 teaspoon coriander

Heat a skillet over low heat and slowly toast the hazelnuts and pumpkins seeds. When hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds are brown and fragrant, add in white sesame seeds, stirring frequently to toast. When sesame seeds are toasted, remove the pan from heat and add spices. Pour contents into blender or food processor and pulse 5–10 times, until the nuts are roughly chopped and a coarse sandy texture.

1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon chili flakes

5 eggs ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup whole-meal self-rising flour 1 teaspoon kosher salt Cracked black pepper 1 cup ricotta Dukkah Spice (see below) Preheat oven to 400°F. Line muffin tin with paper. Place zucchini in a clean towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Transfer zucchini to large bowl. Add parsley, cilantro, chives, eggs, baking soda, flour, salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Add the ricotta and stir until just combined. Spoon ½ cup of mixture into each paper-lined muffin section. Top with approximately 1 teaspoon Dukkah Spice per muffin. Bake 25 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer.



Edible Ojai & Ventura County

EARTHTRINE FARM B.D. Dautch & Family Est. 1986

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Baker Three simple ingredients – flour, water and salt – are transformed well beyond the sum of their parts when time and temperature are skillfully applied. Enjoy Pizza Fridays!

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We’re Wheating For You Visit the Roan Mills Bakery 411 Central Ave. Fillmore Learn more at RoanMills.com


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MOVING AHEAD — TOGETHER Supporting the local food community in the post-pandemic era PHOTOS BY MARIAH GREEN

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n a gloriously sunny day in mid-April, socially distanced on a patio overlooking a beautiful waterfall, Edible Ojai & Ventura County and Coin & Candor in the Four Seasons, Westlake Village, co-hosted a small gathering of innovative small-business owners who contribute to Ventura County’s robust food community. During an impressive meal, including locally sourced ingredients, created by Coin & Candor’s Executive Chef Jesus Medina, these local thought leaders shared experiences and ideas generated from the past year of pivoting to stay afloat. Joining us were Henry Tarmy of Ventura Spirits, Gabrielle Moes of Seasons Catering, Nicole Facciuto and Eric Quinn Hargrove of CORKY’S NUTS, Michael Roberts of Farmivore, Greg Barnett of NABU Wines, Sarah and Shawn Pritchett of Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters and Jesus Medina. Here are some highlights of that conversation in the hopes that you, too, will be inspired, as we enter a post-pandemic era. (Answers have been edited for space.) Personally or professionally, what is the most difficult lesson you have learned over the past year? The most surprising? Nicole Facciuto: For me, professionally, it was assuming that when something goes wrong with infrastructure that you don’t control, the people who are accountable for correcting the issue are actually interested in fixing it. Some of the specific difficulties we faced this year required us to learn to make some pretty big requests of our customers regarding significant changes in delivery times and overall fulfillment. The outcome, having those customers stand by us and tell us that everything is okay and that they would be ready when we are, was extremely rewarding and refreshing. Michael Roberts: For me, the lesson is that we need each other. I’m excited that I want to lean on you all and I want you to lean on us. Community is very important and I’ve missed everybody. Especially here in Ventura County, being part of this amazing food community. I think we can do so much more together.

Edible Edible Ojai Ojai & & Ventura Ventura County County

Greg Barnett: Our model was very music driven. On a Friday and Saturday for music nights, we would have 300–800 people come through our door and our wine sales were just insane. When the pandemic happened, we realized that we didn’t have our wine online. (Now we do have an online store.) This moment in time has taught us to become that winery that we are. We started delivering wine—I think a lot of people were just having me deliver wine so they could see me, because, you know, wine is social. That’s one thing I’ve really missed. Another thing we never had to do was reservations. Now, we are by reservation only, and we like it. I think the most difficult thing was getting the message out without the music. Just saying, “Hey, we’re still here!” What are some changes in your business that you’d like to keep; what are the changes you can’t wait to be rid of? Sarah Pritchett: During the lockdown, we decided to shorten our hours and run the floor with a smaller staff to save on labor costs. That meant that Shawn and I were working every day. But this decision allowed our team to work full days and still have time for family and self-care. I think it was an important part of keeping us all sane during a difficult time, and it helped us financially. It can be difficult to juggle, switching gears all the time, but it was nice to have that family time at the end of the day. We happily have all of our staff working full time again, but we have been slow to expand our hours. In time, we will, but we are keeping in mind their well-being as well. Henry Tarmy: There were some regulatory changes for us that were really surprising and delightful, where the California ABC [Alcohol and Beverage Control] stepped in really early in the pandemic and

said, “Alright, distilleries can now ship directly to consumers.” Distilleries had never been able to do this, so it was a huge gift for us. We had a lot to learn as far as just starting a shipping operation, but that is something I certainly hope to retain, as far as a legal privilege, and I think we probably will. Like so many things with COVID, it forced you to do something that regulators—or you yourself—would have said, “Oh no, that’s not possible, or practical or viable,” and then you do it and realize, “Oh, I guess this does work.” For example, shutting down Main Street and making it a walking promenade! Or realizing nothing crazy has happened because people are shipping liquor. Shawn Pritchett: Community is such a huge part of what we do, and so vital to why we built Ragamuffin, to share good through that. We had to change the ways in which we approached that. Luckily, we had an idea that this was going to go longer (not this long) so we planned and worked really hard. Several months we worked every single day and we just did to-go orders. Every time the city or the state had changes, we just kept going. But to not be able to have the community inside has been hard for everybody involved. What are some of the challenges that you foresee (in your business, life or community) as we begin to move out of the pandemic era and focus forward? Are there consumer trends that create or inform these challenges? Shawn Pritchett: Now, to start getting used to being around people again, on the inside, welcoming people back in, I think the biggest challenge is just figuring out, “When? How?” Then juggling what expectations are. Other people are already opening up inside. And we aren’t. Everything happened so fast at the beginning and now it feels

Participants shared stories and ideas while gathered at two tables on the beautiful outdoor patio at Coin & Candor in the Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village. Clockwise around the table: Gabrielle Moes, owner/ chef Seasons Catering; Tami Chu, publisher Edible Ojai & Ventura County; Nicole Facciuto and Eric Quinn Hargrove, owners CORKY’S NUTS; Michael Roberts, farmer Baby Root Farm and Farmivore.


SUMMER 2021 19

The seasonal meal shared, developed by Coin & Candor’s Executive Chef Jesus Medina, included warm red fife sourdough with Straus Creamery butter; shrimp ceviche with shiro dashi, red onion, citrus and cilantro (third photo from left); grilled avocado with a peanut salsa macha; entree choices of swordfish, dry aged meatballs, seared chicken, Spanish octopus or a vegan burger and 10-layer chocolate cake with house-made espresso ice cream (fifth photo from left). Seasonal cocktails shown (second photo from left) created by General Manager Hannah Ellstrom.

like it is happening again but in the reverse. So it is a juggle to figure out how we can keep being a blessing to the community through coffee and through relationships. As far as consumers, when we opened before, people were still only coming out in their family units. I think now there are going to be business partners or people coming out and meeting at the coffee shop. People are learning how to interact again, and I think it’s going to be a challenge to lead in a positive way, to learn that and to create and deliver the best experience for our guests. Sarah Pritchett: Yeah, I think the biggest challenge is being flexible. As business owners who have succeeded at keeping our business open through the pandemic, we had to be really flexible. We had to keep going when we were exhausted; to keep leading our teams and convincing them to come back to work and be excited and that it would be OK. I think I was sort of hoping that we would get back to reopening and everyone would be able to take a breath and it would be normal again, but there is no such thing as normal. People have been asking me, “Aren’t you excited that things are opening back up?” and I just say, “I’m kinda tired.” I’m tired of being flexible and being a good sport, but there is no other choice. For a small business, we have been trying to wear all the hats and trying to keep that energy alive. I think it is true, what Mike was saying: We need each other! I think we will need to be stepping outside our industry a little bit and asking, “How can we work together to be successful?” Eric Hargrove: I think one of the challenges is going to be looking for opportunities outside of what we already know, and embracing those opportunities while looking for folks that we can collaborate with in new ways. 20


Gabrielle Moes: Oh, wow, challenges. I think it will be sticking to the boundaries we set for ourselves, getting this new business Good2Go really successful and hiring people! I am one in about 5,000 other businesses that is hiring wait staff and event directors and where is everybody? The food industry has totally changed. So many people have left our industry partly out of necessity, but they haven’t come back. We also have all these new regulations. The government says we can have events now, but am I supposed to monitor every single guest who comes into a party for vaccination status to avoid liability? It is just constant piles and piles of paperwork figuring out what to do. One more challenge would be social cues. Today I apologized for touching a spoon. It will be different with people we don’t know. I think we will navigate through, as we always do, so I try not to worry about that too much. From pivot to pre-planning: What do you think the new “norm” will look like? Sarah Pritchett: I think as much innovation as we saw in the last year, we are going to see as much, if not more, going forward. During the pandemic, we learned that you have to step outside of the box to survive. So even though we are moving into a time of being less restricted, there is almost more expectation. We always had the mission to make someone’s day better. That is our whole reason for being here. That is still very much a part of what we are about but now, what we realize that what people need from us is connection. I think we all realized that is the most important thing: At the core, we all need to be connected even if we’re forced to be apart. All of us here have food and beverage products that bring people together, because food gathers people. So what we are trying to do is shift our mindEdible Ojai & Ventura County

“WHEN THE PANDEMIC HAPPENED, WE REALIZED THAT WE DIDN’T HAVE OUR WINE ONLINE. (NOW WE DO HAVE AN ONLINE STORE.) THIS MOMENT IN TIME HAS set to be more than just a café that is only successful by bringing people in our doors. We are trying to evolve our model to be a place where people can connect and build relationships. Nicole Facciuto: When the pandemic hit, there was a bit of a loss of control over a number of things. We looked at it and said, “Well, OK, everything is going crazy, so what do you want to create? How can we help? Swing big! What do we have to lose?” Each one of us has been dealt a crazy blow, and we’ve made it through, so far, and are still making it through a whole new way of doing things. So, why not? What else can we do?


Eric Quinn Hargrove: What I have been thinking about, moving forward, is initiating deeper or more frequent conversations with our customers to find out really “What do you need? How can we best serve you and support you, especially in the new era of ‘What now?’” Henry Tarmy: Yeah, I think that is really important. It’s not like it was one way before, then we’ve been through this year and now it is going to be how it was. We’ve gone through this seismic shift, the dust hasn’t settled yet, but things absolutely will change. We’re going to carry some of this stuff, hopefully silver lining kind of stuff, with us. But what people want and how they buy things has fundamentally EdibleVenturaCounty.com

Ventura County food industry business leaders, (clockwise from left) Henry Tarmy, cofounder, Ventura Spirits; Sarah and Shawn (across table) Pritchett, co-owners, Ragamuffin Roasters; Jesus Medina (standing), executive chef Coin & Candor and Greg Barnett, cofounder, NABU Wines, participate in community conversation about business and life. SUMMER 2021 21

“WHAT I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT, MOVING FORWARD, IS INITIATING DEEPER OR MORE FREQUENT CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR CUSTOMERS TO FIND OUT REALLY “WHAT DO YOU NEED? HOW CAN WE BEST SERVE YOU AND SUPPORT YOU, ESPECIALLY IN THE NEW ERA OF ‘WHAT NOW?’” —ERIC �UINN HARGROVE, CORKY’S NUTS changed. For those who have been able to be flexible and really take this opportunity to learn, some of that—public health crisis aside—is kind of exciting. How can consumers help? Michael Roberts: One of our farmers, Inlakesh, says we need to be “functionally selfish.” So, if readers, our community, want the best our local community has to offer, if they want the highest nutritional value, if they want the freshest produce available, they should get it from us! They should be functionally selfish. They should demand and want the best and they should support the best in their community to whatever degree is possible for them. Greg Barnett: Yes, support local wine for sure. We always said we’d never reopen unless we felt safe. There’s going to be a lot of stuff we won’t be doing, and new things we had to do that we will keep in



place, for the foreseeable future, just to stay safe. So, come on out, enjoy our wines and listen to music outdoors. Nicole Facciuto: I think what consumers could do is really realize that they can choose to make a difference with their hard-earned dollar and actively seek to buy local where they can. In order to create a space that “helps the consumer to help”, it is our responsibility to educate our customers about our products and why they should support us, and how it might benefit them and their community. Eric Quinn Hargrove: I think we need to create ways to empower our consumers to authentically share about us, to give our products as gifts, to be inspired by our stories (and why we do what we do), and share that with their immediate community. I would love to see people really own what they consume; that it, in some ways, speaks to who they are; that by sharing what they buy, especially their food, it allows them to share some of who they are in the world.

Edible Ojai & Ventura County


SUMMER 2021 23


DAY TRIPPIN’ IN THE LAND OF THE LOTUS EATERS Summer Adventures in Southern California


s the world begins to reopen, we are all looking for things to do that don’t require getting on a commercial airplane just yet. As such, our local Edible teams put together a very limited list of suggested activities and places to eat by county to keep your summer active, all within a two- to three-hour drive. From southern San Luis Obispo County on down to northern San Diego County, one of the best ways to beat the summer heat is well known: Head to the beach. However, beaches can get crowded, especially on weekends and very hot days. Our recommendation? As long as you are not looking for the extra safety of lifeguards, seek out lesser-known beaches—some that might be just up the street from the popular sites—and enjoy more space to play. Be cautious of riptides, though. It could be worth your time to search ocean safety information on Parks.Ca.gov. Each county also boasts gorgeous hiking trails and designated bike paths. Check out AllTrails.com/US/California to get started. For all other links and more information, visit EdibleVenturaCounty.com or our digital issue!

Lotusland Photographed by Steve Brown

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Edible EdibleOjai Ojai&&Ventura VenturaCounty County

Photo courtesy of Splash Cafe

Splash Cafe’s awardwinning clam chowder in a sourdough breadbowl

Montaña de Oro Photographed by Dawn Hamilton

SOUTHERN SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY (2- to 3-hour drive) For more information on SLO County visit EdibleSLO.com. San Luis Obispo County has a plethora of delights to experience, especially if you are looking for beaches and hiking. Inland areas can get a little warm in the summertime, so we have included some ideas that keep you closer to the coast. Day Trip Idea 1

Stop in at Gopher Glen Apple Farm stand in San Luis Obispo (open mid to late summer) to grab some locally grown fruit and treats while you wait for your appointment to soak in the natural minerals at Avila Hot Springs. Nearby, Avila Beach boasts a lovely car-free boardwalk with shops and eateries to enjoy. Or, if you are in the mood for a hike, check out the Seven Sisters of San Luis Obispo (Nine Sisters in SLO County) and pick your trek based on time and difficulty. If you are feeling ambitious, you could start your day standing in line to get the monstrous handmade-daily cinnamon rolls at Old West Cinnamon Rolls in Pismo Beach. Day Grab a takeaway lunch at Splash Café in San Luis Trip Idea 2 Obispo on your way out to Montaña de Oro State Park, just past Los Osos, for hiking, beach exploring and maybe a whale sighting or two. For an extra treat, stop at Ember in Arroyo Grande for a handcrafted woodfired dinner on the way home. If you make it into town on a Thursday, be sure to make time for the Downtown SLO Thursday Farmers’ Market from 6–9pm. EdibleVenturaCounty.com

Day Start the day off early and catch farm-fresh breakfast on the patio Trip Idea 3 with ocean views at Lido in Pismo Beach (make reservations for the Champagne brunch for a great deal!). Spend a bit of time walking the newly refurbished pier and promenade or stroll the beach to help digest. If you feel up for some fast fun, rent ATVs or dune buggies and spend the day in the Oceano Dunes. Try The Spoon Trade in Grover Beach to grab seasonal dinner before the drive home. Or if peanuts sound good, stop in at Klondike’s Pizza in Arroyo Grande where you can throw the (free) peanut shells onto the floor as you munch.

Pismo Preserve Photographed by local Kayden DeLeon

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(30 minute- to 1.5-hour drive)

For more information on Santa Barbara County, visit EdibleSantaBarbara.com. An easy drive from anywhere in Ventura County, the Santa Barbara region offers beauty and adventure for whole (or even half ) day experiences. Mystery Picnic Experience—Plan ahead for this one. Order a friends or family picnic adventure from AmazingCo and explore Santa Barbara and locally owned businesses by solving clues sent to your smartphone. Pick up prepaid food and visit the local cultural sites suggested on your way to your final picnic destination. (A version of this picnic is also available in Malibu.) Day Trip Idea 1

Day Try out a new beach. Santa Barbara County has miles of Trip beautiful coastline and accessible beaches. If you are lookIdea 2 ing for something a little different, take the drive to Jalama Beach with options for camping or day-use picnic areas. About an hour from Santa Barbara, the turnoff from Highway 1 takes you along a 14-mile scenic drive. At the beach, try one of the “world famous” burgers from the Jalama Beach Store and Grill.

Day Summer is a great time to visit Lotusland when the lotus Trip Idea 4 are blooming. Located in Montecito, this exquisite estate has a series of gardens filled with rare plants and stunning landscape design features. Reservations are required for the two-hour self-guided walking tour. After your tour, stop for gelato at Here’s the Scoop or grab a bite at one of the many restaurants lining Coast Village Road. 26


Edible Ojai & Ventura County

Photo by Krista Harris

Day Spend the day wine tasting. Pick a geographic area, a type Trip Idea 3 of wine or a specific varietal to focus on. Then select wineries that fit your criteria. You should expect to pay around $15 for a tasting, but the fee is often waived if you purchase wine or join the wine club. Stay hydrated and well-fed by scheduling a lunch in between tastings or a leisurely picnic. For picnic supplies, stop by Bob’s Well Bread (in Los Alamos and Ballard), Cailloux Cheese Shop (in Solvang) or Lucky Hen Larder (in Santa Ynez).


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In Ventura County, the inland cities often hit triple digits by mid to late summer. The following day trip ideas are specifically designed to beat the heat. Day Trip Idea 1

Drink in the local scene. Hit the local hiking trails early in the day and plan for a stop at one of the ice cream shops (see sidebar) as a reward. Be sure to bring loads of water and a camera! Some of those vistas are breathtaking. Finish off the day strolling around the Harbor Villages in Oxnard or Ventura to keep things cool.

Day Visit an island. Pack a large picnic lunch (see eatery sidebar for lunch ideas) Trip and lots of water, grab a spot on an Island Packers boat (or private plane with Idea 2 Channel Islands Aviation if you’re feeling fancy) and head out to the spectacular Channel Islands National Park for a day of hiking, kayaking, snorkeling or scuba diving. Primitive camping is available, but there are no services available on the islands, so pack it in and pack it out! See nps.gov/chis to plan your trip. Day Bike it out. This trip is best done on a cooler day (earlier summer) or earlier in Trip the day (9am probably being the latest start time). Grab bikes (or rent them), Idea 3 catch the Rails to Trails bike path at the Ventura Pier and head to Ojai. The path is a very manageable gradual up, but if you are not an avid biker, take it slow and take breaks as needed. Maybe stop for a coffee on the way (see our coffee map for nearest locations), and try Sage Ojai or Ojai Rôtie for a lovely outdoor lunch. When it starts to get too warm, coast your way back to the beach.

WHERE TO GRAB A SANDWICH There are loads of locally owned lunch spots in the county for food on the patio or for takeout. It can help to call ahead to order. Some good ones include:

Ventura: Peirano’s Deli, Paradise Pantry, Brio Café, Ventura Sandwich Company, Sandwich Man, LC Imports Pizza of Ventura, Eddie’s Grill

Cam�ril�o: Old New York Deli, Nona’s Italian Deli, The Wine Closet

Thousand Oaks: Alpine Deli, Fusion Grill, Joi Café

Ojai: Azu, Ojai Rôtie, Hip Vegan, Sage Ojai

Want to know wher� to grab a frozen treat in Ventura County? Just point your smartphone camera at the icon and click the link.

Hikers and bikers love getting the views from ridgetop trails. Photo courtesy of Ventura County Land Trust



Edible Ojai & Ventura County


20-minute to 2-hour drive

For more information on LA County in general, visit EdibleLA.com. Los Angeles County is the land of everything. It boasts secret bars and sunken cities, amazing museums and discovery centers, hiking, beaches and wildlife. There are hundreds of articles online about things to do in Los Angeles, so we have just included a few of our favorites, in some of the cooler (more temperate) cities. From Long Beach, head over to South Catalina Island via Catalina Express ferry. Once there, the options are endless! Rent scuba gear or a kayak for a water adventure; book a foodie tour; rent a golf cart in downtown Avalon and check out the gorgeous island views and landscape; hang out on the beach; hop on the Nautilus for a semi-underwater tour; or book the Catalina Island Zipline Tour. Want to do it all? Rent a room and plan a longer stay!

Day Trip Idea 1

Day Pack up the kids and spend Trip Idea 2 the earlier part of the day at the Discovery Cube in Santa Ana (Orange County), then plan a visit to the Time Travel Mart in Echo Park on the way home. Timing matters here, though, so either give yourself lots of time to sit in traffic, or plan to avoid the busiest times Day (6–9am and 3–7pm). Trip Idea 3 After a day at the beach or some lovely oceanfront hiking, grab an early dinner (opens at 5:30pm) at Opaque in Santa Monica for a dining-inthe-dark experience. Then grab a bottle of wine and a blanket and head over to Cinespia for an outdoor movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Leave your stilettos at home and grab an Uber or assign a designated driver for this adults-only day trip to explore the fun and quirky side of LA. If you plan for the right Sunday, you can start with the local-maker-focused Hollywood Artisan Market on La Cienega; or, if it is reopened, Smorgasburg Los Angeles in DTLA, the largest open-air food market in America. For lunch, try the gorgeous Michelin-chef-run Openaire, perched atop the Line Hotel on Wilshire. To work that off, consider a walking tour of the hidden staircases or seeing if you can find the Sunken City (access to the ruins prohibited). Pair dinner with a tour at the Lost Hills Distillery, an LA treasure surrounded by a moat. Then finish off the evening with a drink or two at Davey Wayne’s (only open Th–Sa— and only if you can find the secret entrance).

Bonus Trip Idea

An aerial view of Catalina Casino and Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island


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For more information on San Diego County visit EdibleSanDiego.com. Day Trip Idea 1

Solana Beach is the perfect seaside town for a summer day trip or overnight stay. It even has an Amtrak train station for those who want to ditch the car. Enjoy a day at the beach or browse the shops in the artsy Cedros Design District. Stop by Claire’s On Cedros for a hearty breakfast or lunch or pick up something to-go at Claire’s Too, their nearby coffee shop and bakery. In the evening check to see who’s playing at the Belly Up Tavern.

San Elijo Lagoon Photographed by local Nadine Castagna

Torrey Pines Nature Center Photographed by local Nadine Castagna

Torrey Pines hike Photographed by local Aaron Castagna

Day If it is nature you want, start the day exploring the eight Trip miles of trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve, just south of Idea 2 Del Mar. Check out Bird Rock Coffee Roasters on the way in and for lunch try Bushfire Kitchen on the way back to the 5 freeway for some tasty health-conscious options or, to stick with ocean views, eat on Sbicca’s rooftop terrace. Finish the afternoon with an educational stop to walk the trails at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Bring a camera! You might catch a glimpse of a rare bird species. If you still have time for an early dinner, try Ki’s Restaurant just down the street for hearty homestyle meals with an ocean view. Day Another eco-conscious beach town worth exploring, an Trip Encinitas trip should be planned on a Sunday to ensure time Idea 3 to visit the Leucadia Farmers’ Market, found in the playground of a local elementary school. See what Pannikin Coffee and Tea has to offer and maybe take your drink down the street to Stonesteps for a stair climb down to a stunning beach surrounded by steep cliffs. When you are ready to move on, find parking near Encinitas Boulevard and North Coast Highway 1 and enjoy a leisurely stroll south, where you will find adorable shops and amazing restaurants, including Prager Brothers, which features long-fermented sourdough and organic pastries. Just two blocks away on B Street, find the beach access to Moonlight Beach. Or walk all the way down to K Street to try Swami’s Café, and then check out the surf at Swami Beach.

Moonlight Beach Photographed by local Nadine Castagna

SUMMER2021 2021 3030 SUMMER

EdibleOjai Ojai&&Ventura VenturaCounty County Edible

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Edible Ojai & Ventura County



SUMMER 2021 1


16 15

Beans locally roasted

18 14


Beans roasted in-house



20 19 74

Santa P


Sells whole beans Organic options available Coffee Fair Trade certified


Coffee sourced directly from farm



57 60 56 43 51 81 45 46 4741 55 58 61 62 40 44 50 59 48

Sustainable business practices Made to order food available

49 52 71

No seating available Coffee guide sponsor

2024 Ventura Blvd. Unit 110 CafeFicelle.com

2 Kay’s Coffee Shop

2364 Ventura Blvd. KaysCoffeeShop.com

3 Old Town Cafe

2050 E. Ventura Blvd. MyOldTownCafe.com

NEWBURY PARK 9 Caffé Aroma

2130 Newbury Rd. Ste. #A Caffe-Aroma.Business.Site 2860 Camino Dos Rios ConejoCoffee.com

MOORPARK 5 California Coffee Republic

330 Zachary St. #109 CACoffeeRepublic.com

Port Hueneme

205 N. Signal St. LoveSocialCafe.com

24 Anacappuccino 289 E. Hueneme Rd. Anacappuccino.com

19 Ojai Café Emporium 108 S. Montgomery St. OjaiCafeEmporium.com


30 Single Serve Co 2355 Tapo St. #12 SingleServeCo.com


25 118 Cafe

20 Ojai Coffee Roasting Company

337 E. Ojai Ave. @ojaicoffeeroasters

5726-28 E. Los Angeles Ave. 118-Cafe.com

26 Dr. Conkey’s Candy & Coffee 2804 Cochran St. Dr-Conkeys-Candy-Coffee.MyShopify.com

21 Sage Ojai Sage Ojai 217 Matilija St. SageOjai.com

31 Chocolatine FRENCH CAFÉ 2955 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. ChocolatineFrenchCafe.com 32 five07 coffee bar + eatery 2036 E. Avenida de Los Arboles Ste. C Thefive07.com


27 Get Hooked, a Coffee and Bagel Company 1543 E. Los Angeles Ave. GetHookedCoffee.com

2024 E. Avenida de Los Arboles FusionGrill1.com

252 W. Los Angeles Ave. Ste. D @disgustingly_delicious_bakery

14 Beacon Coffee Company

211 W. Ojai Ave. BeaconCoffee.com

22 Honey Cup Coffeehouse & Creamery 3500 Harbor Blvd. Ste. 1-105 HoneyCupCoffeehouse.com

28 Lucky Dog Cafe and Coffee Bar 2139 Tapo St. #113 LuckyDog-Cafe.com

34 Historia Bakery Café 11-B E. Hillcrest Dr. @HistoriaBakeryCafe

8 It’s A Grind Coffee House 888 E. Los Angeles Ave. 805.523.3339

15 Coffee Connection 311 E. El Roblar CoffeeConnectionOjai.com

23 Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters 550 Collection Blvd. Ste. 130 RagamuffinRoasters.com

29 Makenna Koffee Bar 153 Cochran Ste. 310 MakennaKoffee.com

35 JRA Bikes & Brew 215 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. JRABikesAndBrew.com

6 Carrara’s Pastries

144 W. Los Angeles Ave. Unit 107B Carraras.com

7 Disgustingly Delicious


13 The Local Cup 485 N. Ventura Ave. @Thelocalcup_oakview



111 N. Reino Rd. RagamuffinRoasters.com




18 LO>E Social Café

11 Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters

12 Café Sapientia 706 Lindero Canyon Rd. Ste. 794 CafeSapientia.com


and Gifts 323 E. Matilija St. JavaJoeOjai.com

10 Conejo Coffee



42 77

17 Java & Joe Specialty Coffee


4 Tifa Chocolate & Gelato 620 N. Las Posas Rd. TifaChocolateAndGelato.com



16 The Farmer and The Cook 339 W. El Roblar Dr. FarmerAndCook.com

CAMARILLO 1 Café Ficelle

79 76


Local pastries or prepared food offered







33 Fusion Grill

Edible Ojai & Ventura County

Ventura County Coffee Guide


Paula Simi Valley

Moorpark 7






29 70


39 32 33


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Thousand Oaks 34

35 38

377 E. Main St. @cafedusuro

37 Longevity Coffee

44 Café Ficelle

390 South Mills Rd. Ste. B CafeFicelle.com

2849 Thousand Oaks Blvd. LongevityCoffee.com

45 Caffrodite Community Collective 1987 E. Main St. Ste. B Caffrodite.com

38 Tarantula Hill Brewing Co.

46 Copper Coffee Pot Café

244 Thousand Oaks Blvd. TarantulaHillBrewingCo.com

2292 E. Main St. CopperCoffeePotCafe.com

39 Tifa Chocolate & Gelato 1730 E. Avenida De Los Arboles Ste. D TifaChocolateAndGelato.com

47 Ex Voto Chocolates




69 67

64 68

Newbury Park

43 Café du Suro

652 E. Janss Rd. LittleCalfCreamery.com



42 Beacon Coffee 5777 Olivas Park Dr. BeaconCoffee.com

36 Little Calf Creamery and Cafe


and Confections 2646 E. Main St. ExVotoChocolates.com


50 Harvest Cafe 175 S. Ventura Ave. 104B HarvestCafeVentura.com V, GF

51 Immigrant Son 543 E. Main St. Immigrant-Son.com 52 le petit café bakery 1591 Spinnaker Dr. 112 LePetitCafeBakery.com 53 Lovewell Tea & Coffee

2271 N. Ventura Ave. LovewellTeaAndCoffee.com

54 Kay’s Coffee Shop 1124 S. Seaward Ave. KaysCoffeeShop.com 55 Marie Shannon Confections

27 S Chestnut St. MarieShannonConfections.com




Westlake Village

58 Prospect Coffee Roasters 92 S. Laurel St. ProspectCoffee.com 65 Novo Café 30770 Russell Ranch Rd. Ste. G Home.NovoCafe.com

59 Sandbox Coffeehouse 204 E. Thompson Blvd. SandboxCoffeehouse.com 60 Simone’s

66 The Royal Egg Café 30815 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. TheRoyalEggCafe.com

61 Singing Sun

67 Stir Two Dole Dr. FourSeasons.com/WestlakeVillage/Dining/ Lounges/Stir

62 Tatiana’s Coffee & Tea

68 The Stonehaus 32039 Agoura Rd The-Stonehaus.com

7818 Telegraph Rd. & 2848 Cabrillo Dr. Simonescoffee.com

1930 E. Main St. SingingSunCoffee.com

2470 E. Main St. @tatianascoffee


40 Bagel Rock Coffee 2781 E. Main St. BagelRockCoffee.com

48 Frontside Cafe 1070 E. Front St. FrontsideCafe.com

56 Palermo 321 E. Main St. PalermoCoffee.com

63 Bonibi Coffee 32123 Lindero Canyon Rd. Unit 104 BonibiCoffee.com

41 Bagelicious Café 2713 E. Main St. Bagelicious.cafe

49 Harbor Cove Café 1867 Spinnaker Dr. HarborCoveCafe.net

57 Palm & Boy Coffee 451 E. Main St. #8 PalmAndBoyCoffee.com

64 JOi Café//Coffee by JOi 2855 Agoura Rd. JoiCafe.com


30 28

Note: All information was updated May 2021. As details do change, please check websites or Instagram for current information regarding COVID restrictions.





69 Zooza Café 3687 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. ZoozaCafe.com

Turn to back of map for Specialty Coffees and Roasters. SUMMER 2021 3



Coffee trends are defined as waves. Here are ways folks have experienced a cuppa over the years.

70 Marie’s Café 660 E Los Angeles Ave. #660K Simi Valley MariesCafeSimiValley.com

First Wave: (1800s–1960ish) Commodity coffee. Coffee grows in popularity to become a standard household product. Convenience is most important, mostly sold pre-ground. Characteristic brands were Folgers and Maxwell House.

71 Top This Chocolate 1559 Spinnaker Dr. Ste. 109 Ventura TopThisChocolate.com 72 A+ Ice Cream and Desserts Ice Cream Truck & Catering Various Locations APlusIceCream.com

Coffeehouse culture.

73 Xielo Artisan Desserts 212 W. 4th St. Oxnard XieloDesserts.com

Generally characterized by huge brands/chains like Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee.


Focus is on specialty drinks with espresso and on the experience of “getting coffee.”

74 Bonito Coffee Roaster Ojai BonitoCoffee.com

Second Wave: (1966–2000)

Sourcing is mentioned but not emphasized.

Third wave: (1990s–present) “The third wave is, in many ways, a reaction. It is just as much a reply to bad coffee as it is a movement toward good coffee.” —Trish R. Skeie Craft coffee renaissance. Artisan coffee and origin countries become huge focus and birth the rise of fair-trade and single-origin beans. Beans are roasted in various ways to produce flavor notes, often sold as whole beans. New methods of brewing become popular (pour-over, French press, cold brew).

Fourth Wave: (mid 2010s–present) The science of coffee. Focus shifts to chemistry of water and coffee, looking at how to produce the best coffee experience with specialty equipment and precise measurements.

75 Beaucoup Beanery Simi Valley beaucoupbeanery.com 76 Brazuka Coffee LLC Ventura BrazukaCoffee.com 77 Calioh Coffee Ventura CaliohCoffee.com 78 Café Altura Ventura CafeAltura.com 79 Centri Coffee Ventura CentriCoffee.com 80 Moore Coffee & Tea Ventura MooreCoffee.com 81 Ventura Coffee Co. Ventura; only at Spice-Topia @venturacoffee

Coffee as obsession. Sustainability and sourcing still strong focus.



EdibleVenturaCounty.com. Produced Edible Ojai & VenturaCounty County Edible Ojaiby& Ventura



Ventura County coffee trends BY MELINDA HAMBRICK


hile we normally think of a wave as what goes under a surfboard, it is also a term to describe a trend. And coffee has a history with waves. Legend has it coffee was first discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopia. By the 16th century it had become a staple in both homes and coffeehouses in the Near East. The drink rapidly spread from the Ottoman Empire to Europe with the help of Venetian traders. After more than a few failed attempts, Europeans eventually gained possession of fertile beans (a.k.a seeds) and the ability to establish their own coffee plantations. Fast forward to 1773 and the Boston Tea Party, when the palates of the people of the not-yet-United States switched to coffee, with some help from rebellion. By the 1800s, the Italians were working on espresso machines and Americans could buy pre-roasted coffee in paper bags. Coffee, in the United States anyway, remained a mass-produced commodity primarily consumed at home. This was the first wave. The second wave arrived in the 1970s when franchises like Peet’s and Starbucks made getting coffee a cool thing to do. Since then, coffee—and the consumers’ relationship to it—has shifted dramatically.

THIRD WAVE COFFEE Originally coined by roaster Trish Rothgeb, the term “third wave coffee” is often seen as a rebuke of the corporate coffee franchise. During this shift, coffee became a craft. Roasting was done in small batches by individuals with an intense focus on the coffee (its quality, where it was grown, how it was processed). Some of the passionate people doing the roasting also opened their own cafés where they could not just serve their coffee but also share their knowledge with their customers. Suddenly there were more options in coffee preparation methods such as French presses and Chemexes (pour-over style brewers) and, more recently, cold brew. Cold brew’s specific preparation results in a more concentrated, naturally smoother, sweeter cup of coffee with less acidity and more caffeine and has become one of the hottest trends in the U.S. coffee market. EdibleVenturaCounty.com EdibleVenturaCounty.com

SUMMER SUMMER 2021 2021 33 33

Photos courtesy of Beacon Coffee, California Coffee Republic and Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters

The coffee industry in general is expected to see a huge increase in sales derived from RTD (ready to drink) coffee beverages and it is largely cold brew that has led to this development.

FOURTH WAVE COFFEE These days, the coffee industry is generally considered to be in its fourth wave. Sarah Pritchett, co-owner of Ragamuffin Roasters in Oxnard and Newbury Park, describes this wave as “a marriage between the creation of exceptional coffee products and an honest social consciousness.” Although that relationship began during the third wave, it has come to define the current approach to coffee, especially here in Ventura County.

FARMER CONNECTIONS Responsibility, to both producers and consumers, has been a guiding principle of Beacon Coffee in Ventura and Ojai, which began roasting in 2010. Beacon’s direct partnerships with coffee estates and milling operations ensure the producers are being paid a fair and sustainable price. This in turn incentivizes them to grow exceptional coffee and makes them feel secure enough to experiment with farming techniques. Beacon created a coffee subscription program in part to support some of the small family farmers they work with in Latin America. For farmers, experimenting with new techniques (either in what kind of coffee is grown or how it is processed) is a financially risky endeavor. That risk is made smaller by knowing there is a guaranteed demand for the results. All of this gets lost in the process, of course, without consumer education. The desire to create a stronger connection between the producer and the consumer is what led John and Jennifer Wheir to start Beacon Coffee and, COVID aside, they have been cupping coffee with customers from the beginning. This allows coffee lovers to learn first-hand about the people and places that provide their coffee and understand the true value of what’s in their cup.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS Sarah Pritchett says, “Coffee brings people together and creates community ... and as much as coffee is still a morning ritual to help wake us up for the day, it is even more so a point of connection.” For Sarah and her husband, Shawn, co-owner and lead roaster, the pursuit of connection has naturally resulted in a collaborative approach to doing business in their community. Shawn is always looking to find ways to work with other businesses to create new coffee experiences and has partnered with local breweries and distilleries

such as Topa Topa Brewing Co., Casa Agria Specialty Ales, Tarantula Hill Brewing Co. and Ventura Spirits. Sarah says she is especially looking forward to the early June re-release of Ragamuffin’s Strawberry Fields Forever, an Ethiopian Adado aged in Ventura Spirits’ strawberry brandy barrels. These types of partnerships may become a key feature of fourth wave coffee. Will Sayre, co-owner with wife, Jen, of California Coffee Republic (CCR), located in The Alley in Moorpark, has successfully collaborated with Enegren Brewing in Moorpark on a German Coffee Porter and with Lucas Sellers Wine on a Guatemalan coffee aged in dried French oak LSW Grenache and Syrah barrels. For Sayre, it all starts with ethically sourcing the best green coffee in a way that is traceable and documents a particular coffee’s history. He says he sees it as his mission within the marketplace to do “a fair amount of awareness and education work in a casual, approachable, ‘California chill’ way.” The fourth wave has been described by some as “all about the science.” The fourth wave brought an emphasis on water minerality and temperature, grind sizes, extraction rates and filter selections. “Coffee is chemistry, and while I am committed to the chemistry of making excellent coffee, I understand that not every customer wants to spend the time learning all the complexities,” says Sayre. “It is important to

Opposite (left to right from top left): Las Cruces Mill manager Don Marcial in Guatemala City; El Llano owner Jose Antonia Rojas Camacho checks his coffee as it dries; Guatemalan farm Finca La Rosas Huehuetenango owner Rolando Villatoro shows freshly picked coffee cherries; Beacon Coffee production lead Virginia Garcia picks coffee at Hacienda La Minita; Yearling coffee trees to be planted on a farm loaded on a mule in Andes, Columbia; Will Sayre sets up the roaster at California Coffee Republic in Moorpark; Sarah and Shawn Pritchett sample some freshly roasted coffee at Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters in Oxnard. EdibleVenturaCounty.com

SUMMER 2021 35

me to approach the customer where they are at in their coffee journey and help them explore at their pace and level of enthusiasm. If they’d like to learn how to brew one of our coffees with a complex method at home, we are happy to help them with that.”

MAKING COFFEE HEALTHY Something noticeable in cafés recently is the increased focus on health and the sudden incorporation of unexpected ingredients on the drink menu. It has become commonplace for cafés to offer superfoods like turmeric, beet root, mushrooms and moringa in lattes that now may or may not even have espresso. Some cafés, like Longevity Coffee in Thousand Oaks, see coffee as a means for people to get needed nutrition. They serve an organic, vegan, keto-friendly Chaga Cappuccino with astragalus root and chaga mushroom and offer house-made almond milk. Rebecca Gauthier of Longevity sees coffee not as “an end in itself, but a means for consuming optimal nutrition.” And speaking of milk, plant-based alternatives are clearly here to stay. The trend that began in 1997 with Starbucks’ soy latte has been almost taken over by oat milk. Available in the early 1990s, this alt milk has seen a boom in popularity (with sales of $29 million in 2019) due largely to millennial concern for the environment and a general shift to vegan diets.

CATCHING THE NEXT WAVE Some industry leaders claim the fourth wave has already washed ashore and we are now seeing the approach of the fifth as characterized by the “scaling up” of the previous waves. This idea is evident in the corporate absorption of iconic independent third-wave industry leaders like Intelligentsia. Started in 1995, Intelligentsia has been credited as the first to engage in direct trade and direct the spotlight to baristas with the first big public latte art throwdown. This iconic coffee institution is now owned by JAB Holding Company (which also owns Keurig, Panera Bread and Krispy Kreme, among other brands.) Similarly, Nestlé now owns a majority stake in the well-known chain Blue Bottle. Regardless of whether we see a return to corporate coffee, the industry is still facing serious sustainability issues due in part to the extremely low price of coffee on the international market. Climate change, La Roya (a fungal disease called coffee rust,) and finding labor during a pandemic also make growing coffee an increasingly difficult endeavor. And according to Will of CCR, as far as industry trends go, better farming practices and new experimental processing methods are two that will impact coffee consumption the most in the coming years. Melinda Hambrick has a profound appreciation for coffee and for all of the people involved in its process. She enjoys writing and sharing her opinions when asked. You can often find her in Camarillo, making coffee. 36


Edible Ojai & Ventura County






805.646.8184 783 McNell Rd. Ojai, CA 93023 monicaros.org


Blending academic fundamentals with the richness of the visual arts, drama, and music. Preserving the magic of childhood in Ojai’s beautiful East End.

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117 N. 10th St., Santa Paula Hours: By Appointment or by Chance Phone: 805-525-7804 Located above the Santa Paula Art Museum


SUMMER 2021 37


THERE’S A NEW MARKET IN TOWN BY GISA SEEHOLZER n June 3, a second weekly Ojai farmers’ market opens on Thursdays from 3–7pm at Chaparral Courtyard. “A farmer-focused, hyper-local, 501(c)3 nonprofit market filled with local, regenerative, small growers and under-resourced members of our community,” says Michelle Lopez, one of three founding members of the Ojai Community Farmers’ Market board, offering “a gathering space celebrating and supporting our foodshed’s resilience, to help cultivate an exemplary valley of farms.” The goals of the market—the current board of which also consists of longtime Ojai residents Grace Malloy of Poco Farm; Julie Gerard, who will offer free legal advice to vendors; Heath Perry; and Steve Sprinkel, co-owner of Farmer and the Cook—are to provide food security and easy access to healthy food for all residents in the Ojai Valley, cultivate community and promote food education. “This market is a living, breathing, changing space that will be shaped by the needs of our community,” says Malloy, who describes herself as a farm-based educator. Over two years in the works, this second farmers’ market in Ojai offers more opportunity for vendors to grow their businesses, obtain organic certifications and expand their current product lines, something this market plans to assist with, even financially as possible. The vendors aren’t the only beneficiaries, though. The board, which evolved from the Ojai Food Co-op movement, has obtained a grant to double the assistance dollars available for customers to spend at the market. The market already boasts vendors including Ojai Rotîe, Sanders & Sons Gelato, Mission Beekeeping, Night Heron Farm, Golden State Papaya, Wild at Heart Ojai, Pan’s Garden Nursery, Rancho Del Pueblo, Frecker Farm and many more, but is still accepting vendor applications.

Photos courtesy of Ojai Community Farmers’ Market


Thursdays, 3–7pm 414 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai For a chance to volunteer, become a vendor, join the board or to learn more, visit OjaiCommunityFarmersMarket.com. 38


Edible Ojai & Ventura County

VENTURA COUNTY FARMERS’ MARKETS WEDNESDAYS Midtown Ventura Certified Farmers’ Market Pacific View Mall (West End Parking Lot) 3301 N. Main St. Wednesdays, 9am–1pm (rain or shine) VCCFM.org 805-529-6266

THURSDAYS Downtown Oxnard Certified Farmers’ Market Plaza Park, 5th St. & B St. Thursdays, 9am–1:30pm (rain or shine) OxnardFarmersMarket.com 805-247-0197

Ojai Community NEW! Farmers’ Market Chaparral Courtyard 414 E. Ojai Ave. Thursdays, 3–7pm OjaiCommunityFarmersMarket.com 661-491-0257

Thousand Oaks Certified Farmers’ Market The Oaks Shopping Center (East End Parking Lot) Wilbur Rd. & Oaks Mall Dr. Thursdays, noon–5pm (rain or shine) VCCFM.org 805-529-6266

FRIDAYS Simi Valley Certified Farmers’ Market Civic Center Plaza 2757 Tapo Canyon Rd. Fridays, 11am–3:30pm (rain or shine) Facebook.com/SimiValleyMarket 805-643-6458

SATURDAYS Camarillo Hospice Certified Farmers’ Market 2220 Ventura Blvd., Old Town Saturdays, 8am–noon (rain or shine) CamarilloFarmersMarket.com 805-987-3347

Downtown Ventura Certified Farmers’ Market City Parking Lot Santa Clara St. & Palm St. Saturdays, 8:30am–noon (rain or shine) VCCFM.org 805-529-6266

SUNDAYS Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market Behind the Arcade 300 E. Matilija St. Sundays, 9am–1pm (rain or shine) OjaiCertifiedFarmersMarket.com 805-698-5555

Moorpark NEW! Certified Farmers’ Market Moorpark Civic Center Parking Lot 799 Moorpark Ave. Sundays, 9am–2pm EnrichedFarms.com 818-699-6204

Channel Islands Harbor Farmers’ Market Marine Emporium Landing 3350 S. Harbor Blvd., Oxnard Sundays, 10am–2pm (rain or shine) RawInspiration.org 818-591-8161

Westlake Village Farmers’ Market 2797 Agoura Rd. Sundays, 10am–2pm (rain or shine) RawInspiration.org 818-591-8161

WEEKENDS Ventura College Foundation Weekend Marketplace Ventura College East Parking Lot Corner of Telegraph Rd. & Day Rd. Saturdays & Sundays, 8am–2pm VenturaCollegeFoundation.org These lists were updated May 2021. As details do change, please contact the markets and CSAs for the latest info.

EdibleVenturaCounty.com EdibleVenturaCounty.com

CSAs & OTHER FO�D BOX OPTIONS The Abundant Table Camarillo Membership: open Price: $30/box TheAbundantTable.org

Harvest Gathering Farm Ventura Membership: waitlist Prices: varies HarvestGatheringFarm.com

Steel Acres Ojai Membership: open Prices: varies SteelAcres.com

Blue Ridge Honey Ventura Membership: not required Prices: varies BlueRidgeHoneyCA.com

King & King Ranch (Also provide to the Abundant Table and one smaller Ventura CSA) Fillmore Membership: not required Prices: varies KingandKingRanch.com

Sow A Heart Farm Fillmore Membership: open Price: $50/box SowAHeart.com

Corky’s Nuts Fillmore Membership: not required Price: varies CorkysNuts.com Earthtrine Farms Ojai Call a day ahead to order and pick up at the farm, Tuesday, 9am– noon and Friday, 9:30 am–1pm. Price: varies based on your order Call: 805-421-8483 Farmivore Produce from Baby Root Farm, McGrath Family Farms, First Steps Farm, John Givens Farm, Steel Acres, Poco Farm, Sol Y Mar Farm, Fair Hills Farm Camarillo Membership: $25 weekly (not required) Price: custom orders ($5 flat delivery rate) Farmivore.farm The Farmer & the Cook Ojai Membership: waitlist Price: $125/month Farmer-and-The-Cook.com

Get Hooked Seafood Santa Barbara/Ventura Membership: Weekly Pickup Price Varies Contact: GetHookedSeafood.com

Main Street Meats Ventura Membership: not required Prices: varies by box MainStreetMeatsVentura.com Novy Ranches Simi Valley Membership: not required Prices: varies NovyRanches.com OLAS Foundation & Tutti Frutti Farms Certified Organic Produce Boxes Place order by 7pm on Mondays and Thursdays Price: $55 Text or call: 805-570-1638 or 805-794-1481 Prancers Village Ventura Membership: not required Price: $40/box PrancersVillage.com

Underwood Farms Moorpark Membership: open Price: $45/box UnderwoodFamilyFarms.com Ventura Fresh Fish Ventura Membership: not required Prices: varies VenturaFreshFish.com The Ventura Meat Company Ventura Membership: not required Prices: varies VtaMeatCo.com Watkins Cattle Company Ojai Membership: not required Prices: varies WatkinsCattleCo.com White Dove Farm Santa Paula Membership: not required Prices: varies WhiteDovesFarmFresh.com

Rio Gozo Farms If you know of another CSA that Ojai is not listed, please let us know at Membership: Open info@edibleventuracounty.com. Price: $30/weekly or $60/biweekly Text: 805-272-5337 with “Hi, my name is ... my address is ... I would like to receive a vegetable delivery on ...”

SUMMER 2021 2021 39 39 SUMMER




ummer brings us vibrant fruits and berries in Ventura County despite the dry season. Overall, wild berries contain greater concentrations of nutrients than their cultivated counterparts—including anti-aging compounds such as antioxidants and resveratrol—once you get past some of their protective defenses. Please consult a field guide for proper identification before consuming any wild plant and keep in mind that these fruits and berries are part of a delicate ecosystem and should be mindfully harvested.

WILD CURRANTS AND GOOSEBERRIES (Ribes species) Many species of currant and gooseberry are found in the oak woodlands and in higher elevations in our local mountains. Currants have a relatively smooth skin and vary in color from golden to dark purple, while the closely related gooseberries are covered in spines. Some gooseberries look downright threatening, but once you get past their defensive exterior, they are a delicious summer treat. Why Should We Eat It? These small berries are high in vitamin C, which helps to support a healthy immune system. Additionally, they contain antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium that contribute to a healthy diet. 40 40


Harvesting Many species of wildlife depend on these fruits so it is best to harvest in moderation. These shrubs are easy to grow and can be found at many local nurseries. Currants are easy to harvest right off the bush, but gooseberries are best collected while wearing gloves. Try It! Some species have better flavors than others, but these berries are tasty in a variety of jams, jellies, baked goods, chutneys or as a delicate garnish.

Edible Ojai Ojai & & Ventura Ventura County County Edible

ELDERBERRY (Sambucus mexicana) As one of our most abundant berries found in the chaparral and oak woodlands, the elder tree boasts both culinary and medicinal qualities in its berries, leaves and bark. Researched heavily for its anti-viral properties, this berry is also tasty especially with a little bit of extra sweetness added to it. Why Should We Eat It? High in vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium and iron, plus antioxidant polyphenols and anthocyanins, these berries help to reduce inflammation and prevents the replication of viruses in human cells, helping us stay healthy. Harvesting These berries are abundant in years with ample rainfall. They do contain notable amounts of hydrocyanic acid that accumulates as cyanide when consumed—fear not, though: These compounds are destroyed when heated by cooking. Elderberries dry or freeze well to store for the winter months. Try It! Traditionally prepared as a medicinal syrup, this berry can also be delightful in pies, jams or baked into bread and breakfast goods, and can also be fermented into a simple country wine. PRICKLY PEAR (Opuntia species) Though daunting to the novice forager, the prickly pear cactus is an incredibly useful plant for both food and medicine. The fruits start to ripen midsummer and can be harvested well into late fall for their unique bright color and sweet flavor. The young leaves, also known as nopales, are commonly eaten raw or cooked in Mexican cuisine. Why Should We Eat It? Not only tasty, this cactus is also highly medicinal. Prickly pear leaf is used to treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar, reducing cholesterol and fighting obesity. The entire plant contains notable amounts of anti-inflammatory and antiviral compounds, along with high levels of flavonoids, polyphenols and betalains in the fruits. Harvesting There are many different methods to get past the thousands of tiny hair-like spines (known as glochids) that cover both the fruit and the leaf. It is best to clean them in the field with a stiff brush before bringing them home and into the kitchen. Wear gloves to finish cleaning with a dedicated scrub sponge under running water. You can eat them raw at this point (discarding the seeds), or juice them in a fruit press. Try It! Usually prepared in sweet applications (think juice, syrup, smoothies, jelly, candy, sorbet, margaritas, wine, soda, etc.), the magenta-hued juice can be used in savory dressings and sauces as well. EdibleVenturaCounty.com

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Health Benefits of Ingesting Cannabis


f you are a cannabis consumer already, it is not news to you that cannabis is available in an abundance of different strains, or that we can consume it in every way imaginable. We can smoke it, vape it, eat it, slather it on our skin, soak in it, drink it, and yes, even insert it suppository style! Archaeological evidence shows cannabis has been used medicinally for eons. However, did you know that ingesting is healthier and more effective than smoking cannabis? Smoking may provide more immediate relief for whatever is ailing you, but is harsh on your lungs and the effects don’t last very long. Edibles are more discreet and generally more cost effective.

42 42


If you are less experienced with cannabis or just curious to learn more about the benefits of ingesting it, read these pro tips gained from the decades of collective wisdom held by staff at Ojai’s Sespe Creek Collective.

3. Eating cannabis allows you to obtain clinical levels of cannabinoids—helpful to those needing higher doses to deal with chronic pain or cancer. You can also microdose by choosing edibles with as little as 2.5mg of THC.

1. Always start with high-quality cannabis from a licensed dispensary to ensure safe, lab-tested herb that’s free from pesticides and heavy metals. For the most sustainably produced cannabis look for the Sun + Earth or the Clean Green Certifications. Even better, get seeds or clones and grow your own!

Key points to remember if you are a beginner: Start low. Go slow.

2. You will experience very different effects if you eat raw cannabis compared to cooked cannabis. For great health benefits without the psychoactive high, grind up dry herb and sprinkle it over your meal. Or try juicing raw cannabis leaves in your smoothie to get a boost of phytonutrients.

What if you overdo it? 1. 2. 3.

Don’t panic. Try chewing some black peppercorns! Take a high CBD tincture (Care by Design’s 40:1 is the highest ratio currently available in dispensaries such as Sespe Creek in Ojai) or under-thetongue dissolvable tablet like LEVEL’s Remedy Tablingual. CBD is known to help counter the psychoactive effects of THC.

Note: We’re eating cannabis, not hemp, which contains less than .3% THC and is not currently regulated and tested the way legal cannabis must be. Hemp seed oil has some nutritional benefits but it lacks the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids thought to make cannabis such a powerful medicine.

Edible Edible Ojai Ojai && Ventura Ventura County County

Prickly Pear Cannabis Vinaigrette Recipe and photo by Jess Starwood 15 (1 tablespoon) servings 10 mg THC per serving ⅔ cup prickly pear juice (can substitute strawberry or guava puree) 2½ tablespoon lime juice ¼ teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon maple sugar (or cane sugar) 2 tablespoon avocado oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 15 ml Fiddler’s Green Cannabis Infused Rouge Tincture (available at Sespe Creek) Combine all ingredients and whisk thoroughly, allow flavors to infuse. Drizzle over your favorite salad. Prickly pear fruits—naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamins and anti-inflammatory compounds— are abundant throughout Ventura County during the summer and early fall, but can also be purchased from Mexican markets.

Jess Starwood, an herbalist, forager and chef based in Thousand Oaks, educates about wild food, herbal medicine and our natural connection to the land through what we eat. She has a master’s of science degree in herbal medicine and is the author of the upcoming Mushroom Wanderland: A Forager’s Guide to Finding, Identifying and Using 25 Wild Fungi available August 2021 from Countryman Press. JStarwood.com

Eat. Drink. Be Happy. Content sponsored by

Since 2010, Sespe Creek has been providing the best lab-tested, sustainably-grown cannabis available, educating customers and changing perceptions along the way. We are woman-owned and operated. EdibleVenturaCounty.com

sespe.org SUMMER 2021 43



Pandemic moves couple’s bakery dream to the front burner BY SUZANNE LUCE | PHOTOS BY MARIAH GREEN


enn and Jay Chapman of Honey and the Hive Bakery are a winning duo in life and business. It seems appropriate to give Jenn top billing because her enthusiasm and ideas clearly drive the bakery they have created together and because Jay gladly takes a role behind the scenes of the bakery, as he has in their previous endeavors as a couple. Jenn says jokingly that she is the mastermind and Jay is her henchman, while at the same time lavishly singing his praises. “Jay is amazing. He allows me to dream and pursue things that are meaningful.” They met when she hired him more than 20 years ago at California State University, Northridge, and they continued working in higher education together for a short time in Jenn’s native state of Maine when their two oldest kids were young and later at California State University, Channel Islands. The couple always dreamed of someday starting a bakery, though maybe it wouldn’t be until they retired. As for many others, 2020 changed their course. Prior to COVID, Jenn was planning corporate events and Jay was consulting for a software company. But then, Jenn lost her corporate job.



Jay was still working and Jenn was home with the kids, enjoying a very different lifestyle of yoga, arts and crafts, school-at-home and baking “a lot of bread.” “I’m glad to have had the opportunity to leave everything behind for a while, but I needed a personal purpose,” Jenn says. Their plans of a far-in-the-future bakery moved to the forefront.

PARTNERSHI P PAI RI NG S A new coffee shop in Moorpark turned out to be the catalyst for a whole new set of partnerships for the Chapmans as they discovered new possibilities with pairings and flavor collaborations. “California Coffee Republic (CCR) had just opened at The Alley in Moorpark and we had been there a few times and chatted with the owners about our ideas,” says Jenn. “I wanted some feedback before we got started, so when I got up the nerve I asked if they wanted to do a tasting with us.”

Edible Ojai & Ventura County

Lucas Sellers Wine, next door to CCR, joined in, and together were first on the list of local partners that Jenn and Jay call their lifeline. “They had great feedback and were so excited for us,” says Jenn. “That gave us the confidence to say, ‘Hey, let’s do this!’” With each collaboration, Honey and the Hive has seen a wave of new customers, and new inspiration for the innovative flavors of its products. Wine and cupcake pairings with Lucas Sellers Wine have included a honey vanilla cupcake with sage pear compote and ginger buttercream paired with a 2019 Grenache Blanc; and a pistachio cardamom cupcake with dark chocolate ganache paired with their 2019 Gewürztraminer. “We know no better,” is how the couple describes their experience in baking. Jay is self-taught, but says he has taken the time to learn the science behind baking. And, without the confines of formal training, he’s not afraid to use and mix unusual ingredients in Honey and the Hive’s signature cupcakes and other desserts. Beers and hops from Enegren Brewing Company, also in the Alley, appear in its honey vanilla “Lagertha” cupcake with hoppy mosaic grapefruit buttercream and sugared rosemary, and chocolate cupcake with maple buttercream and Baltic maple caramel. An ube cupcake with mango buttercream and toasted coconut was created with new friend Phyllis Masaya of Masarap Lumpia, a Filipino catering company based in Oxnard. Pairings with Merry Makers Cocktail Company have included a Baileys chocolate cupcake with espresso mocha buttercream paired with the “Whale of a Time” espresso Martini with mint cream mixer, and a green velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting paired with a SoCal honey sour apple mixer. Its “Puckered Pooch” cookie was created in collaboration with Paw Works Animal Rescue—a lavender lemon sugar cookie dipped in white chocolate with lemon zest and lavender buds—and sold at pop-ups at its pet adoption center in the Oaks Mall, with 10% of sales going to the organization. Jay is methodical and exacting, which comes in handy with his day job as a consultant for a software company, but

Jenn and Jay Chapman include details thoughtfully. Jenn’s lavender flowered apron belonged to her Grandmom, Barbara Bookings, the long cutting board was carved by her dad, Jack Bookings, and the logo board was etched by Jay’s mom, Rachel Chapman. Even their newest tattoos (Jay’s not pictured) are to celebrate the bakery.

says his confidence in baking also comes from this analytical approach, along with tireless research and experimentation in the kitchen. “Sometimes I come up with a crazy idea. He’ll say ‘We can’t do that,’ and I’ll say ‘Yes we can,’ and he’ll keep trying,” says Jenn. “Jay makes everything come to life with his baking.” Several of Honey and the Hive’s products are rooted in Jenn’s home state of Maine and created by Jay from her memories. A blueberry pancake cupcake with maple buttercream and bacon sprinkles was inspired by her family’s lakeside pancake breakfasts; and The Rooster, a ginger molasses cookie, pays homage to a specialty food store housed in a charming Victorian building along the Penobscot River. Jenn’s boldness in forging relationships and Jay’s bravery in the kitchen make Honey and the Hive stand out in the crowd. The business is also family-, woman- and Black-owned. The Chapmans have three children and run the business out of their home in Moorpark. Jay does the baking in the company of various other local chefs, bakers and creators at Summit Kitchen, a co-op kitchen in Ventura. For more information visit HoneyAndTheHiveBakery.com. Suzanne Luce, a writer and mother of three, has long been a real-food enthusiast, making much of the food her family eats from scratch. She is also actively involved with Slow Food Ventura County as baker and publicist. She has worked professionally in marketing and PR and earned a bachelor’s degree in literature/writing from the University of California, San Diego.

With each collaboration, Honey and the Hive has seen a wave of new customers, and new inspiration for the innovative flavors of its products. EdibleVenturaCounty.com

SUMMER 2021 45

E A T. D R I N K . T H I N K . How we inhabit this planet and envision its future is more critical

—consumers who have the power to reshape the world we live in. Every

now than at any time in our history. This past year has certainly taught

farmer, rancher, entrepreneur and organization we champion is better off

us that—it has exposed our vulnerabilities, our frail insignificance in the

because of you. You read, learn, take action and vote with your forks. It will

scheme of things. Yet during this turbulent and challenging time we have

be you who ultimately tilts the scale toward a more sustainable future, a

also found hope.

more sustainable food system.

On the following pages, we bring you the first in a series of thought lead-

Thank you for joining us as we collectively set our sights on creating a

ership stories that span topics on sustainability, hunger, restaurant revital-

future that is nothing less than extraordinary. One that binds the ecosystems

ization and regenerative agriculture. These are the values that Edible Com-

of our lives to Mother Nature without a disconnect between what is on our

munities, as an organization, has been devoted to for the past two decades.

plates and where it comes from—where all of the seemingly smaller choices

Our work lends itself to the singular notion that excellent storytelling has

we make today add up to massive, beautiful and everlasting positive change.

the power to change lives; and that by exploring and elevating important conversations like these, we can create massive change.

Tracey Ryder

We also know that change is impossible without the support of our readers

Co-Founder, Edible Communities

Marshall Johnson, Vice President of Conservation Ranching for Audubon standing in a field of prairie grass. Photo courtesy of Audubon

Words Bill and Katie Delaney Photos Jesse Brantman


SUMMER 2021 edible Communities |



Edible Ojai & Ventura County



Joy Manning




Candice Vivien

You’ve seen the headlines: Beef is destroying the planet.

now means adding 1 million acres of land to the 2.5 million

You’ve heard all about the greenhouse gases and pollution a

acres that have already been certified as bird-friendly. “It means

typical beef operation produces. But the idea that beef is an en-

a lot to partner with an organization that has built its brand in

vironmental disaster isn’t quite that simple. Those dire warnings

alignment with our core values,” says Johnson.

are based on one kind of beef: The conventional, factory-farmed

Darrell Wood, founding Panorama rancher, was the first in

kind. And it is, by far, the most commonly consumed beef in

the network to get certified. “I volunteered. I wanted to see how

North America. In fact, 97% of the beef in the US food supply

it went and what the level of difficulty would be for ranchers,”

is grain-fed, feedlot beef.

he says. And he discovered the benefits greatly outweighed any

But there’s another way to produce beef, a way that actu-

extra effort. In large part, the certification is an acknowledge-

ally enriches the environment. And it’s happening across at

ment of what Panorama ranches, all of which were already or-

least 3.5 million acres of American grassland. Kay Cornelius,

ganic, have been doing for years.

a fourth-generation rancher and new general manager at Pan-

As part of the program, each ranch gets an annual visit from

orama Meats, intends to add another million acres to that total

a rangeland biologist who takes soil samples, measures the veg-

by 2030 through a groundbreaking new partnership with an

etation, and assesses how the ranch affects bird life. Then Audu-

unlikely ally: The National Audubon Society.

bon creates a habitat management plan for the rancher with suggestions for improvements. “The ranches enrolled are going

A NEW SE A L O F A P P R OVA L “All of our data proves that grassland birds are the most im-

to become even more bird friendly, but they were already doing great things,” says Johnson.

periled group of bird species in America. Grassland birds have lost 53% of their population since 1970, and 95% of all grass-


land birds live on cattle ranches,” says Marshall Johnson, vice-

Cornelius isn’t new to dramatically growing a network of

president of Audubon’s conservation ranching initiative. The

environmentally friendly farmers. Before taking the helm of

nonprofit’s “Grazed on Audubon Certified Bird-friendly Land”

Panorama Meats as general manager last September, she dou-

seal was established to recognize ranches that are managed in a

bled sales in her role as vice president for the biggest and best-

way that protects those birds. Saving these birds is a vital part of

known name in humanely raised meats, Niman Ranch. “I spent

maintaining biodiversity. Like bees, birds are important pollina-

12 years there working for farmers, and in my new job I’m still

tors, and they help maintain the delicate balance of a grassland

helping farmers earn a living,” she says.


Finding ways to grow and protect a rancher’s livelihood is a

Through Audubon’s new partnership with Panorama, every

high priority for Cornelius personally and central to Panorama

ranch in Panorama’s network will earn that Grazed on Audubon

Meats’ mission. “I grew up in a rural community during the farm

Certified Bird-friendly Land seal. “We began the project of in-

crisis years. My mom and dad really struggled,” she says. The

troducing this certification in 2013, and we enrolled our first

experience of watching her once-thriving farming community

ranch in 2017,” says Johnson. Joining forces with Panorama

dry up back then informs everything she does today. “At Niman


SUMMER 2021 47 Visit ediblecommunities.com for more photos and podcasts

Ranch, we really celebrated the family farmer doing the right thing and we’re doing the same thing at Panorama.” The simplest way to keep these family farms in business is to ensure they are able to get their product to market and to be paid a fair price. Being part of Panorama’s network helps them accomplish these goals, and the Audubon’s bird-friendly seal provides a major boost, a way to make these special packages of meat stand out from everything else in the butcher’s case for environmental conscious consumers.

4 Ways to Shop for Sustainable Meat Not every supermarket is stocked with grass-fed, grass-finished and bird-friendly beef—yet. If you can’t find it at your store, there are still ways to purchase sustainable steaks, chops, and burgers wherever you are. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. SHOP ONLINE

Panorama has partnered with online retailer CrowdCow.com and you can find their beef as well as meat from other high-quality sustainable ranchers there.


In many communities, smaller farmers and ranchers will sell onehalf, one-quarter, or one-eighth of a single animal to you. Check out EatWild.com to find one near you. Red-winged blackbird

SAVI NG G R ASS L A N D The connection between beef, birds, grassland, and climate change isn’t immediately obvious. To understand how a properly managed ranch can actually help remove carbon from the atmosphere, you have to understand the long history of North America’s grassland. Before they were hunted nearly to extinction in the

3 . S H O P AT YO U R FA R M E R S M A R K E T

Farmers markets are typically a great place to connect with the kind of farmers and ranchers who are passionate about sustainability and land stewardship.

late 19th century, wild bison grazed an area just the right amount to promote the growth of a complex and robust root system without killing the plants. Domestic cows, if left to their own devices, will eat the grass down to the bare earth, destroying the grassland. To make them more like their ancestors, ranchers must use rotational grazing, moving them from spot to spot to achieve that ideal level of grazing. “Cattle can mimic what historic bison used to


When you’re shopping, ask your butcher where the beef comes from and how it was raised. This educates you and lets them know there’s a demand for sustainable beef.

do. That’s why we need them,” says Johnson. Continued...


SUMMER 2021 edible Communities |



Edible Ojai & Ventura County


SUMMER 2021 49



Edible Ojai & Ventura County


SUMMER 2021 51



Edible Ojai & Ventura County

Darrell Wood and Kay Cornelius of Panorama Organic

Without animals grazing, grassland becomes overwhelmed

these eco-minded ranchers can only protect the grassland, the

with weeds and invasive plant species. The soil quality is de-

birds, and the whole ecosystem it supports if they can earn a

graded, and animal life, birds and pollinators like bees lose their

living doing it.

habitat. Vernal pools dry up and disappear. Without well-man-

That’s where you come in.

aged grassland, some species can even become extinct. “There’s a vernal pool on my ranch that hosts an endangered species called


fairy shrimp,” says Wood. “I have a stream that goes through

The way Kay Cornelius sees it, people are looking for three

my property that’s one of the major salmon spawning streams

things when they’re shopping for grass-fed beef. “They want

in California.”

to know it’s organic, they want to know that the animals were

And then there’s the matter of carbon. It’s true that cows emit

treated humanely, and they want to know about the environ-

carbon into the atmosphere, about 80 tons annually for a ranch

mental impact,” she says. “With the USDA organic seal and the

of 150 acres, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Step 4 animal welfare standards, we had the first two covered.”

There’s also a certain amount of carbon emissions associated with

But until this new partnership with Audubon, Panorama had

the farm equipment (32 tons). But well-managed grassland, with

no iron-clad way to convey their commitment to the environ-

its deep root systems, lush vegetation, and rich soil, is actually

ment in a way easily understood by busy shoppers.

able to remove 500 tons of carbon from the atmosphere per year,

The Grazed on Audubon Certified Bird-friendly Land seal

giving it an overall positive effect on the environment rather than

requires third-party certification. Audubon is one of the most

a negative one. It should be noted that this only applies to cattle

trusted names in conservation. This means, in an era of spuri-

ranches with high standards for land management and environ-

ous label claims, the Audubon seal stands out as meaningful.

mental stewardship--not conventional factory farms.

According to Johnson, since the first ranches were enrolled in

Raising beef cattle on pasture this way does take longer:

the program in 2016, bird abundance has increased on those

Cows don’t fatten up as quickly without the grains provided by

grasslands by 36%. This is a good indication that other species,

feedlots, and they expend more energy grazing than on a feed-

especially bees and other pollinators necessary for the food sup-

lot. It also requires more space. As a result, a rancher practicing

ply, are flourishing as well.

this kind of regenerative agriculture cannot produce the same

“Consumers buy grass-fed beef to vote for a change in the envi-

volume of beef on the same acreage as a factory farm. Their beef

ronment. Paying a little more for beef is a nudge in the right direc-

must therefore be sold at a premium.

tion,” says Cornelius. It’s a small price to pay for doing your part to preserve America’s grassland and the birds that call it home. e

The preservation of this land is important to everyone, but


SUMMER 2021 53 ediblecommunities.com




anessa Zajfen has big plans for breakfast and lunch at Ocean View Elementary School District in Oxnard. A well-seasoned local food “forager,” she’s centering some of Ventura County’s small local farms as part of a new mealtime curriculum. “We wanted to bridge the cafeteria and classroom, outside the scope of traditional food service,” says Zajfen. Not only is she innovating new educational programs that focus on where our food grows and who’s growing it, but she’s collaborating with Edible Ojai & Ventura County to make it happen. As of now, Zajfen is envisioning one program with three parts: farmer trading cards; an Edible-branded education booklet (mini magazine) for students, including a recipe for the month that notes where you can find locally grown ingredients in our county; and partnerships with local farmers’ markets. “We will feature local farmers through entrées and salads,” Zajfen explains, “with supplemental info for the students and teachers.” Zajfen hopes to turn the farmer trading cards into posters that could hang in cafeterias. “We’ve received some funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Office of Farm to Fork, but we are seeking additional funding to allow for redemption of the farmer trading cards at area farmers’ markets,” she says, adding that she’s partnering with Edible Ojai & Ventura County to design and print materials. 54


“This will all run through our breakfast-in-the-classroom program, where we hope to provide farm-to-school placemats from which students will eat and original video content to play during breakfast service in the classroom.” But that, like most nonprofit projects, will come down to funding. A sustainable agriculture advocate at heart, “I was always acutely aware of where and how food was being produced,” Zajfen says. Ocean View made the transition from “heat and serve” long before Zajfen arrived, and had already eliminated Styrofoam and single-use plastics. “My predecessor helped with culinary arts training that allowed the kitchen to cook from scratch,” she says. The groundwork Ocean View already had in place allowed her to expand local and organic food sourcing. Much of it is a numbers game. Zajfen reviews overall food costs and tries to find new approaches to the budget that allow the district to buy better-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Balancing food costs across the menu and utilizing some USDA foods helps Ocean View afford to buy products like local burger meat from Watkins Ranch, for example. Zajfen finds flexible ways to build in these ingredients, such as buying imperfect produce that local farmers might not be able to sell otherwise but is still delicious and full of the nutrition kids need. Smart sourcing helps both local agriculture and her budget. “I can accept Edible Ojai & Ventura County

green oranges that have not been gassed and serve them because we can slice them,” says Zajfen. “It takes thinking outside the box.” The COVID-19 pandemic challenged schools all over the country to rethink how to meet the needs of their students. Zajfen had just started at Ocean View in November 2019, and by March the school district, like so many others, had shut down in-person instruction. In the midst of the chaotic early days of the pandemic, Zajfen worked with the district to pivot the breakfast and lunch program by instead sending home bags of bulk food items to make meals at home each week. “Sometimes teachers will ask to slip something in the bags to the kids,” she says, and sometimes she adds coloring books as well. One of the best ideas that came out last spring was the decision to deliver the bulk food supplies to students, which allowed the school district to reach 90% of their population with boxes of pasta, heads of lettuce and many more of the bulk ingredients that would have been used to make school meals. “Everyone feels good about this particular program,” she says. The USDA has given food service departments waivers that help districts to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances. In response, Zajfen has been able to expand her procurement and bring in local farms and organizations like Farmivore to sell to the district.

“Farmivore has helped reach out to local farmers like Laubacher, John Givens, Rancho La Familia and more. We’re building them into traditional procurement channels.” Zajfen works alongside other area school districts as part of the Ventura County Farm to School Collaborative, which began in 2012 as an effort to get more local and organic products into schools. The school district is also part of the Center for the Good Food Purchasing Program, which measures how much money is spent on good food (local, organic, healthy, fair), including local. She’s hopeful that by developing the new curriculum, Ocean View can help students understand how remarkable it is to be eating fresh produce from local community farms in their breakfasts and lunches. If you are interested in helping to sponsor the Edible Education program for OVSD, please email info@edibleventuracounty.com.

Bonnie Rubrecht is a freelance writer living in Ventura. Her passion for sustainable agriculture traces back to her family, who have farmed in California for over 150 years. Previously, she worked on the East Coast with Greenhorns as well as the Perennial Collective, where she wrote about tisanes and herbal remedies.

From left: Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Vanessa Zajfen, Child Nutrition Managers, Yolanda Reyes, Angelica Virrueta, and Faviola Zendejas and Account Clerk Shiela Transfiguracion are all part of the amazing team working to bring local food and food education to the kids in Ocean View School District in Oxnard. (Not Pictured: Child Nutrition Manager, Nicole Pastouris)


SUMMER 2021 55





For grilling, slice vegetables at least ½ inch thick for best results. For example, a medium eggplant or zucchini will yield 4 to 6 slices.


Vegetables can also be sliced into wedges, which should be at least 1 inch wide so they won’t fall through the grates of a barbecue grill. A large onion or squash will yield 6 to 8 wedges.


Lightly spray or brush grill grates with oil before heating to prevent vegetables from sticking. Then lightly brush both sides of the sliced vegetables with oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, your favorite seasoning blend or fresh chopped herbs.


Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Herbal Gomasio It’s all about the smoky char! If you love sweet potato fries, these grilled sweet potatoes will become your new favorite summer side dish. Be sure to slice the potatoes no thicker than ½ inch thick to ensure they cook all the way through. Serves 4 2 large sweet potatoes or yams

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 4 minutes just until crisp-tender. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Over high heat or live flames, use long tongs or a long fork to turn vegetables once or twice. Lowering the cover on the grill will help the vegetables cook through evenly. Worried about vegetables falling through the grates or having trouble turning them? Try covering the grill grates with foil and poke small holes in the foil to allow heat to come through or place in a grill basket or grill wok.

Olive oil


Herbal Gomasio Gomasio is a dry spice blend, similar to furikake, of toasted sesame seeds, salt and often made with seaweed. It’s used in Japanese cuisine sprinkled over plain rice. This simple version is loaded with healthy goodness. Virtually every ingredient has some health benefits and this gomasio has become one of my favorite additions to vegetables, salads, avocado toast or used to season meat, eggs, potatoes and soups.

Run wooden or metal skewers through sliced or wedged vegetables and lay them on the grill. Be sure to soak wooden skewers in water for at least an hour first to prevent them from burning. Turn for even cooking.

6 Preparing for a large crowd with a small grill? Grill firmer vegetables first, to get grill marks and smoky flavor, then cover and set aside. Proceed with the other vegetables, then reheat all prior to serving. Turn the grill heat off first; the grill will still be hot enough to warm the vegetables through, or heat in an oven or serve at room temperature. 7

Instead of using oil, coat the vegetables with honey mustard, balsamic vinegar, barbecue sauce or another dressing to complement grilled foods.


Chili powder and smoked Pimentón paprika make great seasoning alternatives to salt and pepper.


Grilled vegetables add a great smoky flavor to salsas and salads. 56 56


Sea salt Ground black pepper Herbal gomasio Cut potatoes in wedges or ½-inch slices. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil.

Grill over medium heat for 10 minutes or until tender, turning once. Sprinkle grilled potatoes generously with the herbal gomasio and serve.

Makes about 1 cup 1 cup organic raw sesame seeds ¼ cup organic hemp seeds ¼ cup organic milk thistle seeds 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink sea salt 2 teaspoons dried thyme 2 teaspoons culinary lavender 1 teaspoon ground fennel Without any oil or fat, dry-toast the sesame and hemp seeds by gently warming in a pan over medium

heat, tossing or stirring constantly to avoid burning, until the seeds start to turn golden. Remove from heat and place in a bowl to cool. Grind the milk thistle seeds in a spice grinder or crush with a mortar and pestle. Toss pink salt, thyme, lavender and fennel into a food processor. Add cooled toasted seeds and pulse briefly about 10 times. Transfer mixture to an airtight container and store up to 2 months. Edible Edible Ojai Ojai & & Ventura Ventura County County

Chef Robin Goldstein’s cooking career has been centered in California, where she has been preparing foods for 30+ years. She brings to the table a deep-felt art of balancing flavors while interacting with her private clients in their homes. She shares her delicious recipes through her popular cookbooks, perfectly paired for those who seek savory Mediterranean-inspired flavors. PrivateChefRobin.com EdibleVenturaCounty.com EdibleVenturaCounty.com

SUMMER SUMMER 2021 2021 57 57

Grilled Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing Summer offers an abundance of peppers, eggplants, squash and tomatoes. This is a different way to cook your eggplant. Enjoy the slices on their own, sandwiched between bread, or served with other grilled or roasted vegetables. Serves 4 2 medium eggplants Olive oil Sea salt Ground pepper ¼ cup tahini 1 heaping tablespoon white miso 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil Big pinch red pepper flakes Pinch of sea salt ⅓ cup water

Slice eggplant lengthwise or into rounds about ½ inch thick. Heat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush with olive oil on both sides of eggplant slices. Season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and slightly charred, 3–4 minutes each side. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together tahini, miso, soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, red pepper, salt and water. To serve, drizzle dressing over warm eggplant. Any leftover dressing can be stored refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus This is a great side dish to make ahead. You can slip the spears back into the oven to warm them just before serving.

1 tablespoon olive oil

Serves 4

Fig balsamic vinegar

16 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed 8 slices pancetta, cut in half lengthwise 1 lemon Shaved pecorino cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and brush lightly with olive oil. Wrap 1 slice of pancetta around each asparagus spear. Place the wrapped spears on the prepared baking pan an inch apart. Bake for 5 minutes on top rack of the oven. Roll spears over to the other side. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and pancetta is crisp. Set asparagus on your serving platter, squeeze fresh lemon juice and balsamic vinegar on top, then sprinkle with cheese while warm, just before serving

SUMMER 2021 58 58 SUMMER 2021

Edible Ojai & Ventura County Edible Ojai & Ventura County

Muhammara with Grilled Onions This sweet and peppery muhammara dip, based on a Middle Eastern spread, will exceed all expectations. It is acceptable to use jarred roasted peppers, but roasting your own adds a light smokiness that the jarred variety just doesn’t have. Once peppers are roasted, it is super simple to make and is bursting with flavor. Serves 4 2 large red bell peppers 1 slice day-old bread 1 cup walnuts 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons each ground cumin and ground coriander 2 teaspoons smoked pimentón paprika 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon sea salt ¼ cup olive oil 3 bunches whole torpedo onions, or 2 red onions Olive oil, sea salt and ground black pepper EdibleVenturaCounty.com EdibleVenturaCounty.com

For the muhammara, start by roasting the peppers. The easiest method is on a gas stove top. Turn the gas burner to high with your exhaust fan on the highest setting and set peppers directly on the flame. Using a pair of long tongs, turn peppers until skin is completely blackened. (You can also char peppers under the broiler or on a grill.) Put the peppers in a paper bag and close. The skin will loosen as the pepper steams, and once it has cooled down, you can easily remove the skin and seeds with your fingers. For the onions, lightly brush grates with oil before heating the grill to prevent sticking. If your onions are large, cut them in half lengthwise. Mix together some olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Place the onions on a grill pan or basket tray and brush liberally with the oil mixture. Grill slowly over low heat. The onions will have a chance to caramelize and cook through. Use long tongs to turn onions once or twice, grilling on all sides. Put the clean roasted peppers in a food processor, followed by the bread, walnuts, molasses, honey, vinegar, cumin, coriander, pimentón, red pepper flakes, salt and olive oil. Blend the mixture until all the elements are blended but still a bit chunky, not completely puréed, so the spread will have texture. Serve with grilled onions or other grilled vegetables or as a dip with fresh sliced veggie crudité. SUMMER 2021 2021 59 59 SUMMER

Source Guide ART STUDIOS



Studio Channel Islands Art Center (p. 28)

Moore Coffee & Tea

Grosman Chiropractic (p. 36)

A nonprofit dedicated to bringing together artists and community for extraordinary artistic encounters that enrich, educate, and entertain. Featuring art exhibitions, art classes, art camps and events. 2222 E. Ventura Blvd. Camarillo. 805-383-1368, StudioChannelIslands.org

FARMS & FARM MARKETS The Abundant Table (p. 9)

Five-acre certified organic farm and education center at McGrath Family Farm. On-site farm store or communitysupported agriculture box program with pickup locations across Ventura County. 1012 W. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 805-983-0333, TheAbundantTable.org.

Earthtrine Farm (p. 17)

B.D. Dautch and family’s farm provides fresh specialty produce and herbs to restaurants and schools. Certified Organic by CCOF, Earthtrine Farm’s produce can also be found at the Ojai Farmers’ Market and Santa Barbara Farmers’ Markets. robertbdmoon@yahoo.com

Friend’s Ranches (p. 61)

The Friend family has grown Ojai citrus since the 1870s. Produce is at farmers’ markets, and available for local wholesale and seasonal mail order. Visitors welcome Tu & F, 7am–noon. 15150 Maricopa Hwy., Ojai, 805-6462871, FriendsRanches.com

Ojai Pixie Tangerines (p. 61)

The Ojai Pixie Growers Association is over 40 family farms growing Pixie tangerines in the Ojai Valley. Pixies ripen in March, and the Ojai Pixie Growers sell them wholesale and direct for as long as there is fruit to sell, usually until May or June. OjaiPixies.com

Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Markets (p. 7)

Ventura County’s original farmers’ markets, providing connection of fresh and local foods and the finest small California farmers with locations in Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks and Ventura. 805-529-6266, VCCFM.org



Coffee is roasted in small batches, ensuring that every type of coffee sold is developed to its highest degree of flavor and potential. To order email moorecoffee66@gmail.com or visit MooreCoffee.com.

Somis Nut House (p. 64)

For more than 55 years, one-of-a-kind retailer has offered a wide variety of candies, nuts, dried fruits and other goodies. Gift packages and shipping available. 4475 E. Los Angeles Ave., Somis, 805-386-1211, SomisNutHouse.com

GARDENING & LANDSCAPING Avogadros Gardens (p. 31)

This small plant nursery in Ojai is growing organic vegetable and herb starts for the home gardener, farmer, and, homesteader. Pick up in Ojai. Avogadrosgarden.com

BlueSky BioChar (p. 10)

Providing a wide array of premium soil amendments including Biochar, worm castings, rock dust, mycorrhizae and many other products to create Living Soil in your garden. Contact for free garden advice: Michael@blueskybiochar.com, 818-599-9119, BlueSkyBiochar.com

Otto & Sons Nursery (p. 17)

Over 800 varieties of roses annually, comprehensive selection of fruit trees and berries, including stone fruit, apples, citrus, avocados, cherries and eight varieties of blueberries, specially bred for our climate. 1835 E. Guiberson Rd., Fillmore, 805-524-2123, OttoAndSons-Nursery.com.

Treeco, Inc. (p. 31)

Specializes in residential and commercial tree care with a focus on promoting healthy growth. Planting, pruning, fertilization, irrigation, removal, tree risk assessment and consultation. 2100 Goodyear Ave. #1, Ventura, 805-652-0404, treecoventura@att.net, TreecoVentura.com

Rincon-Vitova (p. 31)

Ventura County’s source for biological control, growing beneficial insects and supplying mycorrhizal inoculants, insect-attracting seeds and other organisms to support farmers and gardeners in sustainable organic pest control. 805-643-5407, RinconVitova.com

Quality and affordable chiropractic care for the whole family. Dr. Grosman believes that true healing is achieved when the patient is fully engaged in their own health and well-being and that sustainable health and wellness is a lifelong journey. 3625 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., #168, Westlake Village, 805558-0286, GrosmanChiropractic.com

Horse and Heart Connection (p. 27) An Equine-Facilitated Learning experience led by Andrea Gaines, which explores mindfulness, intuition and inner clarity (non-riding). Private or small group sessions available. Ojai, 847-971-3643, HorseHeartAndConnection.com.

Ojai Energetics (p. 7)

A local company founded in 2014 providing the highest quality, certified organic, water-soluble, full spectrum, hemp CBD elixirs and topicals. Visit retail store for CBD, other wellness products and acupuncture clinic. 236 W. Ojai Ave. #100, Ojai, 805-6465586. OjaiEnergetics.com

Sespe Creek Collective (p. 42)

Since 2010, this woman-owned and operated collective has been providing the best lab-tested, sustainably-grown cannabis available, educating customers and changing perceptions along the way. 408 Bryant Circle Unit C, Ojai, 855-722-9333, Sespe.org

HOME GOODS B on Main (p. 31)

A home and gift emporium of artfully curated goods in beautiful and historic downtown Ventura. 446 E. Main St., Ventura, 805-643-9309, BonMain.com.

BellaCopper (p. 63)

Copper conducts heat better! The original solid copper heat diffuser plate equalizes heating in your pans, with no hot spots. Also effective as a defroster plate and oven plate. Four sizes available. 805-218-3241, info@ bellacopper.com, BellaCopper.com

JellyFish Vintage Boutique (p. 37)

A boutique that combines new and vintage home décor to enhance the beauty of your home every season of the year. 309 E. Main St., Ventura. 805- 6678299; Email: Cynthia.jellyfish@gmail.com; JellyfishVentura.com.

Sanctum (p. 37)

Artful gifts for your home and loved ones to inspire peace, beauty and harmony. Sanctum’s organic, sustainable wares nurture one’s inner sanctum. Featuring local and global artisans who respect old ways of creating, weaving and manufacturing. 307 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, 805-633-9070. SanctumOjai.com.

MEAT MARKETS Main Street Meats (p. 63)

Butcher shop combined with neighborhood market offering local products and deli counter. Features meats humanely raised, processed without hormones or steroids, and as local as possible. 3049 E. Main St., Ventura, 805-643-0318, MainStreetMeatsVentura.com

The Ventura Meat Company (p. 64)

Full-service, sustainable, retail butcher shop offering the highest quality, responsibly sourced meats at new lower prices. No artificial ingredients in anything sold here. 2650 E. Main St., Ventura, 805-667-9159, VtaMeatCo.com


Turn to page 62 for our Local Guide to Good Eats & Drinks

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. LightGabler Law (p. 11)

A 14-attorney law firm that works with employers to develop proactive strategies to enhance workplace productivity and avoid employment disputes. They guide employers on strategic compliance with current laws governing all areas of employment including wage and hour issues, training, discipline, disabilities and documentation. 760 Paseo Camarillo, Ste. 300, Camarillo, 805-248-7208, LightGablerLaw.com

SCHOOLS Monica Ros School (p. 37)

This school has been providing a magical beginning to education for generations of Ojai’s children. For 75 years, their mission has been to expand a child’s natural passion for learning in a setting that celebrates Ojai’s natural beauty. 783 McNell Rd., Ojai, 805-6468184, MonicaRos.org

Edible Ojai & Ventura County

Please visit the advertisers listed here and let them know that you appreciate their support of Edible Ojai & Ventura County. It is their support that allows us to offer this magazine free of charge to our readers throughout Ventura County. Oak Grove School (p. 5)

This progressive co-educational day and boarding school serves preschool through college preparatory high school students. Located on an expansive 150-acre wooded campus, the school fosters an environment where students are encouraged to ask deep questions that flower from a truth within. 220 W. Lomita Ave., Ojai, 805646-8236, OakGroveSchool.org

SPECIALTY FOODS & BEVERAGES Beato Chocolates (p. 11)

A line of artisan chocolates inspired by the iconic and eccentric artist, Beatrice Wood. Located inside the Porch Gallery, 310 E. Matilija St., Ojai, BeatoChocolates.com.

Bennett’s Honey Farm (p. 27)

With kosher and organic certificates, Bennett’s produces, packs and distributes from their 100% solarpowered “green” facility, where they use a gravity straining process to retain the honey’s natural components. Tasting room and store open seven days a week. 3176 Honey Lane (Hwy. 126), Fillmore, 805-521-1375, BennettHoney.com

Buon Gusto Farms (p. 31)

Highest-quality Buenaventura Olive Oil and California Coastal Olive Oils are made with olives that are handharvested, first pressed and cold pressed. Artisan California vinegars specially blended to pair with their oils. Available at farmers’ markets and local stores. Ventura, 805-641-1268, BuonGustoFarms.com


Flying Embers Hard Kombucha (p. 26)

This industry-leading, better-for-you alcohol company makes delicious hand-crafted beverages featuring live probiotics, antioxidants, adaptogens and USDA certified-organic ingredients. Find products near you and learn more@FlyingEmbersBrew and FlyingEmbers.com.

Top This Chocolate (p. 63)

Premium customizable chocolate with 50+ topping choices. Create a bar with a name in chocolate letters. Ready in eight minutes. Ventura Harbor Village 805-535-4167 TopThisChocolate.com

YOUBITE (p. 36)

German Brats, locally made in Camarillo. Created from years old family recipes, our sausages are a must for meat lovers. 745 W Ventura Blvd., Unit J, Camarillo, 805-308-3682, GermanBrats.com

WINERIES & WINE Ojai Alisal Vineyard (p. 1)

Handcrafted Rhone-style wines from grapes grown only at its Upper Ojai Valley vineyard, reflect the terroir that is Ojai. Tasting room at Azu Restaurant. Wine club memberships available. Visit website for tasting locations, events and wine club information. 805-6403837, OjaiAlisal.com.

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Ojai & Ventura County

Local Guide to Good Eats & Drinks Contact us at ads@edibleventuracounty.com to join the guide! Below: At AZU Restaurant in Ojai, you’ll find Spanish & Mexican cuisine including this Chorizo & Shrimp Chili Relleno with chorizo, shrimp, goat, oaxacan and cotija cheese, grilled corn, bell pepper, chile sauce and cilantro. Enjoy pairing with a drink made from local “ferments” by Ojai Valley Brewery, Ojai Alisal wines or Ventura Spirits.

CAMARILLO All Things Tea European teahouse with certified Tea Specialist. Specialty loose leaf teas from the finest plantations and gardens around the world. Cream Tea, Afternoon Tea and High Tea. In Paseo Camarillo Center | 300 N. Lantana St., #37 | Camarillo | 805-445-8327 | Tea-Liteful.com

The Wine Closet Wine lounge in Old Town Camarillo, featuring unique wines, craft beers, small plates, lunch and dinner. Weekly happy hours and featured wine tastings. Indoor and outdoor seating. The specialty market offers retail sales of fine wines, craft brews, artisan cheeses and charcuterie. 2423 Ventura Blvd. | Camarillo | 805-746-5708 | WineClosetInc.com

MOORPARK Disgustingly Delicious Bakery & Coffee House A bakery serving Lavazza coffee, a variety of French press roasts and blends, and a wide range of baked goods and pastries made in-house. Also Including custom baked-to-order desserts and catering services. Open daily 7a-2p. 252 W. Los Angeles Ave. Ste.D | Moorpark | 805-517-1500

OJAI AZU California, Spanish & Mexican Cuisine, artisanal brewery offering light bodied, food friendly craft beers, local wines & fresh cocktails. 457 E. Ojai Ave. | Ojai | 805-640-7987 | AzuOjai.com

Olivella at the Ojai Valley Inn Ojai Valley Inn’s signature restaurant features farm-forward, fresh ingredient-driven dishes celebrating a bounty of central coast produce, with Italian culinary influences. 905 Country Club Rd. | Ojai | (855) 697-8780 | OjaiValleyInn.com/dining



Edible Ojai & Ventura County

CATERING Freda’s Wood Fired Pizza Delicious NY style and brick oven pizzas, sandwiches and salads. Dining, catering, pickup/delivery— and with two mobile wood-fired ovens, we can bring the party to you! 2024 Ventura Blvd. #114 | Camarillo | 805-586-4055 | FredasPizza.com

Private ChefCatering Robin Goldstein is a California chef who works her culinary magic combining unique flavors and seasonal ingredients with classic techniques inspired by her extensive travel around the Mediterranean. PrivateChefRobin.com

FILLMORE Kay’s Coffee Shop Family owned and operated coffee shop and bakery proudly serves locally roasted coffees and premium organic loose leaf teas. Homestyle baked goods are freshly made from scratch. Two convenient locations. 2364 Ventura Blvd. | Camarillo | 805-383-6005 | 1124 S. Seaward Ave. | Ventura | 805-641-1581 | KaysCoffeeShop.com

Roan Mills Bakery California’s first land-to-loaf bakery, Roan Mills grows the wheat, mills the flour, bakes the bread and makes the pasta. Stop in at their bakery in historic downtown Fillmore and taste the difference. 411 Central Ave. | Fillmore | RoanMills.com

• European Tea Room • Over 130 Specialty Teas • Cream Tea, Afternoon Tea, High Tea • Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Catering Tue–Sat, 10am–5pm 300 N. Lantana St. #37, Camarillo Tea-Liteful.com 805-445-8327 Call for reservations


OXNARD Carrara Pastries Italian Eatery Founded by Food Network judge Chef Damiano, Carrara Pastries will transport you to Italy the moment you walk through the doors. Offering full-service meals. 144 W. Los Angeles Ave., Ste. 107B | Moorpark | 805-552-4250 | Carraras.com

Bonita Coffee Roaster Small batch coffee roaster bringing generations of Nicaraguan craftsmanship to the Ojai Valley. Coffee roasted weekly. Visit by appointment. 406 Bryant Cir. Unit K | Ojai, 805-256-7873 | BonitoCoffee.co

Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters Family owned and operated coffee shop and bakery with ethically sourced coffee, gluten free pastries and excellent service. 111 N. Reino Rd | Newbury Park | 805-375-9000 550 Collection Blvd., Ste 130 | Oxnard | 805-278-5837 ragamuffinroasters.com

The Original Solid Copper Heat Diffuser, Defroster Plate & Oven Plate Copper conducts heat better! Made in Ventura, CA since 2002


Ojai Rotie Chef/farmer driven casual patio restaurant offers Lebanese-French rotisserie chicken, freshly baked sourdough, innovative side dishes, plus a wine list highlighting the “Ojai Appellation.” Features shaded landmark patio. 469 E. Ojai Ave. | Ojai | 805-798-9227 | OjaiRotie.com PREMIUM CHOCOLATE WITH YOUR CHOICE OF TOPPINGS

Revel Kombucha Bar Enjoy local jun kombucha on tap! Treat yourself to an amazing acai bowl. Revive with coffee and matcha on nitro. 307 E. Matilija St. C. | Ojai | 805-272-0028 | RevelKombuchaBar.com


Sage Mindful Meals & Elixirs Offers beautiful outdoor seating nestled among the Arcade sycamores, happy hour in the Lounge or a quick bite at the elixir bar. The innovative healthful food and drink menu highlights local, organic, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. 217 E. Matilija St., Ojai | 805-646-9204 | SageOjai.com

@ Ventura Harbor Village 805-535-4167 TopThisChocolate.com

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VENTURA Grapes and Hops Extensive selection of locally sourced wines and craft beers paired with regional flavors, served in the historic elegance of Ventura’s first bar and speakeasy. Plenty of outdoor seating. 454 E. Main St. | Ventura | 805-641-0053 | GrapesAndHops.org

Harvest Café Organic, locally sourced, farm to table, health focused, vegetarian and gluten free cuisine. Full coffee and smoothie bar, beer and wine with outdoor patio steps from the beach. 175 S. Ventura Ave. 104B | Ventura | 805-707-4104 | HarvestCafeVentura.com

The Local Cup An all organic, woman-owned coffee shop where community and relationships are core values. Enjoy a premium cup of coffee or a specialty espresso drinks. 485 N. Ventura Ave. | Ventura | 805-500-5771

Paradise Pantry Food with a local emphasis, including great sandwiches, salads, mac ‘n’ cheese, gourmet goodies, a cheese counter and an extensive wine shop. Diners can also enjoy craft beers, wines by the glass or wine flights. 222 E. Main St. | Ventura | 805-641-9440 | ParadisePantry.com

Poseidon Brewing Company

Sandbox Coffeehouse

Simone’s Oldest independent coffeehouse in Ventura with two locations. Locally roasted coffee, premium pastries, and made to order breakfast & lunch. 7818 Telegraph Rd. & 2848 Cabrillo Dr. | Ventura | SimonesCoffee.com

Ventura Spirits Since 2011, using the natural and agricultural bounty of California’s Central Coast to hand craft novel and delicious spirits. 3891 N. Ventura Ave. | Ventura | 805-232-4313 | VenturaSpirits.com

Caffrodite Community Collective A sustainable space for community members to meet, create, and collaborate through events, good food, and the arts. Coffee House open Sat. 8a-1p. 1987 E. Main St. Suite B | Ventura | 805-651-3884 | caffrodite.com

Where the Surf Meets the Sand. Come enjoy the warmth of our atmosphere and friendly service. Serving fresh locally grown produce and products daily. 204 E. Thompson Blvd. | Ventura | 805-641-1025 | SandboxCoffeehouse.com.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE Coin & Candor at Four Seasons Westlake Village A seasonally inspired California brasserie featuring sophisticated casual in-door and out-door space with stunning views of the Santa Monica Mountains. The menu presents locally sourced dishes that incorporate wood-fired cooking techniques. 2 Dole Dr. | Westlake Village | 818-575-3044 | CoinAndCandor.com

A small, local, veteran-owned craft brewery making a variety of beer styles. Visit the tasting room or take a growler to go. 5777 Olivas Park Dr., Ste. Q | Ventura | 805-477-0239 | PoseidonBrewingCo.com

THOUSAND OAKS NABU Wines A member of the Malibu Coast wine trail, NABU makes wine from Napa Valley to the Malibu Coast. Live music and wine tasting every Saturday & Sunday noon-6pm. 2649 Townsgate Rd. | Westlake Village | 818-835-3704 | NabuWines.com

Chocolatine French Café An authentic French café established in 2004 in the heart of Thousand Oaks, the family-owned spot pleases daily with breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks of homemade quiches, sandwiches, crepes, macarons, coffee drinks and more! 2955 Thousand Oaks Blvd. | Thousand Oaks | 805-557-0561 | ChocolatineFrenchCafe.com


Fresh Nuts, Dried Fruits & Candies Huge Selection of Gift Packs 4475 E. Los Angeles Ave., Somis 805-386-1211 • 800-266-NUTS Open 7 Days



Shop Local for a stronger economy VtaMeatCo.com 2650 E. Main St., Ventura• (805) 667-9159

Edible Ojai & Ventura County


The Kentucky Padre This cocktail was a personal quest by mixologist Megan Diaz to bring together flavors from two very different regions (Mexico and Kentucky) in a new drink. The vanilla citrus from the Licor 43 and the almond flavor of the amaretto give this cocktail great dimension. 1½ ounces bourbon (Elijah Craig or your favorite) ¼ ounce Licor 43 (found at local liquor stores) ¼ ounce amaretto 1 ounce peach purée (best fresh and organic) Dash orange bitters Garnish options: Orange slice, slice of orange peel or orange zest Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into a double Old Fashioned (8 ounce) glass over a large ice cube (or other ice). Garnish with your choice of orange. Served at Cammarano’s in Simi Valley. Photo by Tami Chu


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Edible Ojai & Ventura County


SUMMER 2021 67



Edible Ojai & Ventura County