Skip to main content

Inaugural Commonwealth Wednesday at Carmel Belle

You can read the post I wrote for Edible Monterey Bay's blog about Carmel Belle's Commonwealth Wednesday: here. It hit their website on Tuesday and also went out in their newsletter that same day.

So, last night, while Jake juggled the boys and took R to his mandolin lesson, I ducked over to Carmel Belle for their inaugural event featuring Lauren De Vine of Lauren De Vine Beverage.

Lauren set up a table with colorful carafes and mason jars filled with vibrant fruits. I was instantly intrigued.

Lauren talked for about 30 minutes while we devoured special Small Bites plates that Chef Kyle had created for the event. Here's the roasted summer squash with smoked salmon plate I ordered. It was fresh, seasonal, and the flavors danced on your palate.

That brings me to Lauren's presentation. She talked about her journey through music and being a CEO of a start up to this venture, Lauren De Vine Beverage. 

She queried: why is beverage-development and awareness so far behind that of foods? While California foods are fresh and simple, "California cocktails are so 80s...with fifteen different ingredients. Why?!?" Why, indeed!

So, Lauren is creating a California company that respects our seasonal foods and reflects our palates. Simple. Fresh. And seasonal produce driven. She's launching a CSA-style pick-up for her spirit bases that will only run through the holidays. It'll be a way for her to get much-needed feedback from this community before her product launches internationally in the Spring.

The spirit bases will be versatile, allowing CSA members to mix their own cocktails or stick with non-alcoholic versions. For more information about the CSLDV, email Lauren at laurendevinebeverage[at]gmail[dot]com.

We sampled her watermelon spirit base. Sorry, I didn't write down what else was in there - but it was incredibly tasty! And we tried her pineapple base that had jalapeno, cilantro, and smoked salt in it. Both were De Vine-ly divine!

But, I have to say, my favorite sip of the night was made with her kumquat-lavender-rose geranium shrub. It was tart and sweet at the same time. And the rose geranium and lavender added an exotic, herbacious quality. 

I've read about shrubs, but never got much further than that. After last night's tasting, my eyes are open to an entire new world of possibilities. How can you not love preserved seasonal deliciousness!?

Lauren, I might be taking you up on those shrub-making tips! Thanks for the great tasting. And thanks, too, to Carmel Belle for launching this fantastic series that connects us all with the food pioneers in our community. Cheers!


Popular posts from this blog

Meyer Lemon Custard-Filled Matcha Turtles #BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our  Pinterest board  right here. Links are also updated after each event on the  Bread Bakers home page .  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Stacy of Food Lust People Love  is hosting and she wrote: "Your bread can be large, as in one big animal, or small - animal-shaped rolls. Use your imagination! Points for flavor and shape!" If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at Here's the animal-shaped bread basket from the #BreadBakers... Beef and Sweet Onion Dim Sum Pandas from Karen's Kitchen Stories Bird Bread Rolls from Ambrosia Easter Bunny Buns from Cook with Renu Ham and Cheese Elephant Rolls from Food Lust People Love Hedgehog Bread from Making Mir

Connecticut Lobster Rolls, Canned Lobster Bisque, and a 2019 Henry Fessy 'Maître Bonhome' Viré-Clessé #Winophiles

This month the French Winophiles group is looking at affordable wines from Burgundy.  Host Cindy of Grape Experiences wrote: "Burgundy, or Bourgogne, is known for its wines of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir... as well as Aligote, Gamay, Sauvignon, César, Pinot Beurot, Sacy, Melon in lesser quantities. Many of the well-known wines are quite expensive, but there are plenty of values to be found." Read her invitation here. And there won't be a Twitter chat for this event, so you will have to dive into the articles themselves to read about our pairings and findings. Here's the line-up... Wendy Klik from A Day in the Life on the Farm enjoys Domaine Chevillon Chezeaux Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits, 2018 Paired with a Maple Pecan Chicken . Camilla Mann from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares her love of Connecticut Lobster Rolls, Canned Lobster Bisque, and a 2019 Henry Fessy 'Maître Bonhome' Viré-Clessé. Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick! explains why we should Look t

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce