At the MacCallum House Restaurant, Executive Chef Alan Kantor celebrates his passion for fresh regional and organic products. Seasonally changing menus feature many fine ingredients, including those listed below. Purveyors with websites are linked.
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The Apple Farm
Growing over 60 varieties, Golden Delicious is the main crop, although one can enjoy a wide range of flavors from their collection of antique and unusual varieties, only found at the Farm during the harvest season. The apples are grown on the Navarro River bottom, where there are morning fogs and hot afternoons, producing tender-skinned and intensely perfumed fruit. Picking and packing are done by hand and the apples are not washed or waxed, but left with their own natural bloom.
Located in the fertile Butte county of north central California near Sacramento, Bayliss Ranch, a fifth generation homestead created before the Civil War, introduced CAL RISO, the first Mediterranean rice born in California. Destined to take its place with the superior wines, olive oils and produce grown in California’s mild climate, CAL RISO produces a creamier risotto in less time. It is also fresher, since it is milled in small amounts and shipped domestically. Homegrown organic, fresh and flavorful, CAL RISO is the cream of the crop for risotto and all-purpose rice dishes.
Bear Flag Cheese
Monterey Jack was first stamped on a California cheese sometime in the late 1800s. It soon became an American staple. Owner Ig Vella kept the name “Jack” given to the cheese by its originator, a Scot named David Jacks, who ended up in California during the Gold Rush. The Vella family started making a wonderful, creamy Jack in the early 1930s and it is a great melting and cooking cheese. Also superb are their aged raw milk Dry Jack cheese, a nine-month-old cheese, which is rubbed with cocoa and black pepper and has a sweet, nutty quality, and Mezzo Secco, a combination of dry and natural Jack.
When Cindy Callahan bought her first sheep they were meant to keep the pasture grasses under control. She had no idea she was placing her family at the forefront of the American revival in artisan cheesemaking. Bellwether's passion is for making the best cheeses possible, using only the highest quality milk. Their repertoire includes cow, sheep and fresh cheeses.
Branigan Free Range Turkeys
Family-owned Branigan Turkey Farm was established in 1942 in Woodland, California, raising 18,000-20,000 turkeys per year. The free-range turkeys are raised longer in order to ensure quality flavor and iced before packaging to keep the water content very low, adding to the flavor of the meat.
Covelo Organic Vegetables
Tom Palley’s farm is registered as an organic grower with the California Department of Food & Agriculture, and is a member of CCOF, the California Certified Organic Farmers. He strives for production in a manner that is healthy for the soil, the consumer and the farmer. The produce is selected best-in-season, harvested, cleaned and cooled to ensure delivery in excellent condition. Everything is grown organically - without pesticides or other chemicals - because they believe that organic methods produce the most healthful food, the best soil quality for sustainable yield and the safest condition for their work environment.
Point Reyes Station
Started by Bette's Oceanview Diner founder Sue Conley and former Chez Panisse chef Peggy Smith in 1994, the duo renovated an old hay barn in Pt. Reyes Station, an hour north of San Francisco. From this home next to Tomales Bay Foods, the Cowgirl Creamery turns out award-winning, handmade cheeses in the style of Europe's fine fromageries. Using only milk from the Straus Family Dairy, a nearby certified organic dairy, their fresh cheeses, triple creams and seasonal whole milk cheeses reflect a clean, fresh milk flavor and the terroir of West Marin's historic dairy region. Cowgirl Creamery won Best of Show at the 2003 competition for their Red Hawk, a washed rind cheese, and also awards in several other categories, including 1st place for their Mt. Tam and 2nd place for their Pierce Point, Crème Fraiche and Fromage Blanc.
Northern Humboldt Coast
On the half-tamed California coastline just south of Oregon dwells a cheesemaker named Mary Keehn. Mary works with her daughter and a dozen others, as well as two goatherds, in the hamlet of McKinleyville, one stop beyond Arcata. Mary started raising show goats more than 20 years ago. She began milking the does and making cheese and California cheese hasn’t been the same since. Her fresh plain, peppered and herbed cheeses are great for cooking, and the aged tomme called Humboldt Fog is a masterpiece of twin layers of flaky goat cheese, separated by a fine line of vegetable ash. While aging, the cheese grows a bloomy rind, liked that found on Brie and Boucheron. We also like their firm goat milk cheese called Midnight Moon, which has been aged for 1 year.
The flavor is buttery, a little nutty, with hints of caramel. The aroma is sweet and a little fruity. It’s a perfect table cheese, but try it when grilling or cooking. It melts beautifully.
Dry Creek Valley
Over a decade ago DaVero imported olive trees to their farm in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley from a 350-year-old Tuscan estate famous for its oil. Their goal was to produce a California olive oil that could stand with the world’s best. DaVero was the first American olive oil to win a blind tasting in Italy (Imperia - 1997), was chosen as the Top Tuscan Oil of the Year (Gambero Rosso - 1998), and received the Gold medal at the Olive Oils of the World Competition in both 2002 and 2003.
Fiscalini Farmstead Cheese Co.
John Fiscalini’s dream to make his own cheese started many years ago. After visiting Lionza, the small town in the Swiss Alps where his family originated, his cheese making plan came together. John envisioned the dairy and cheese facility that his forefathers established in the 1700s. Picturing the cows grazing on the lush green grass of the mountainsides, he decided to continue the tradition of making a hand-crafted farmstead cheese. Aged Cheddar and Parmesan were selected as the cheeses that he wanted to make. Late in the year 2000, the dream became a reality. On the same property his grandfather purchased for a dairy site in 1914, John, the third generation Fiscalini to dairy on the property, added a cheese plant to the dairy facility. Fiscalini Farms was among the first dairies in California to be certified by the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program for environmental responsibility, and was the first dairy in the nation to be certified by Validus for compliance in animal welfare issues.
Flowers by the Sea/Elk Creamery
Flowers by the Sea is a certified organic and biodynamic(r) flower and produce farm. The Elk Creamery is located on the farm and is presently the only certified organic goat cheese dairy in California. Practicing methods of cultivation and earth husbandry first proposed by Rudolph Steiner, they achieve a sustainable and holistic harmony involving people, plants, animals and the entire beautiful, rich coastal environment. They focus their energy on increasing the vitality and health of their crops - from row vegetables to the berries to the flowers to the animals they raise. The MacCallum House kitchen uses their mouth-watering strawberries and raspberries and their superb and subtle farmstead, artisanal goat cheese from the new dairy.
Germain-Robin, an alambic brandy distillery on the wild flower-covered sloped hills of Mendocino County, had a serendipitous beginning in 1981 when Ansley Coale, Jr., then a professor of ancient history at Berkeley, gave a lift to Frenchman Hubert Germain-Robin, a bearded stranger with a peace sign tattooed on the back of his right hand. Germain-Robin happened to be from a French cognac-making family, touring California to see if making great brandies here was a possibility and Coale was in the process of planting grapes on his 2,000-acre sheep ranch. A partnership was formed and the ranch became home to a distillery of fine California brandies, made from local wine grapes, including red wine grapes like Pinot Noir, giving it a distinct character. Germain-Robin now arguably makes the best brandy in the United States and among the best in the world.
Giusto's Specialty Foods, Inc.
S. San Francisco
Millers and bakers since 1940, Giusto's is the leading processor and wholesaler of organically grown grains in the Western United States. They have their own group of farmers who grow premium varieties of organic wheat for the highest performance and functionality of organic baking flours. Utilizing modern milling technology and lab analysis, they can make custom flour blends to meet every baking need, ensuring that, from field to your table, the grains in your breads have not been treated with any synthetic compounds, but are pure and natural, the way nature intended. The grain is ground in its entirety with nothing added or removed. All the vital elements, the germ and the bran, are intact.
Hand In Garden Organic Produce/Comanche Creek
A desire for wholesome, best-tasting, ‘picked at its peak’ produce for their own use led the Miller Family to launch Hand in Garden, supplying fine restaurants since 1997. Out of respect for the earth and the knowledge that soil is not simply a means for anchoring plant roots and holding artificial fertilizers to provide plant nutrients, the Millers adopted a constructive, organic approach to farming, simply working with nature, recycling natural materials to maintain soil fertility and using natural methods of pest control.
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Located 50 miles north of San Francisco on scenic Coast Hwy. 1 in the historic town of Marshall, Hog Island Oyster Farm began in 1982 in a facility built in the late 1860s as a general store, post office and railway station. The property conjures up images of the old steel rail, which made its way along Tomales Bay, passing right through the yard and around the cove of Hog Island Point. By 1987, Hog Island met their goal of growing oysters of the highest quality, producing and selling a million oysters to the finest restaurants around the country. The S.F. Chronicle named the Hog Island Sweetwater “Best American Oyster’ in a blind taste test. They also received the highly coveted Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Food & Wine for animal husbandry. Today their doors are open to the public to purchase farm-raised oysters, clams and abalone, sold live in the shell.
Little River Mushroom Company
Owners David and Priscilla Samas founded the Little River Mushroom Company in 1997. Family owned and operated, they grow premium shiitake mushrooms, hand picked with tender loving care. 100% organic, the mushrooms are grown indoors using no animal products. They supply shiitakes to the Monterey Market, Berkeley Bowl and Good Food markets in the Bay Area, as well as north coast grocery stores.
Lundberg Family Farms
Lundberg Family Farms is a leader in producing high quality organic and eco-farmed rice products in a sustainable and beneficial manner. They have been growing rice since 1937 in harmony with nature. It is their belief that if you have healthy soil you will produce healthy food. They respect the land and the wildlife that depends on it and their eco-positive farming methods continue to improve the environment for future generations.
Massa Organics is part of a small family farm located along the Sacramento River near Chico, California. Massa Organics is managed by Greg Massa and Raquel Krach, in partnership with Greg's parents, Manuel and Mary Beth. They grow organic whole grain brown rice, which is available in two-pound packages, or in bulk. Rice farming offered an opportunity to do real conservation work on their own land, rather than the theoretical work of university-based ecology. Stewardship of the air, water and land became their primary focus. For example, they have installed recirculation systems to reclaim the irrigation water, and do not burn any crop residue. They have planted native oak trees along field borders, and have installed nest boxes for wood ducks, barn owls, American kestrels, and bats. Future plans include the creation of waterfowl and shorebird habitat within the rice fields--an idea unheard of in rice production today. However, they measure improvements to the farm not just in crop yields, but in the numbers of sandhill cranes and California quail they see using the land.
On the hillsides of a spectacular 550-acre Marin County ranch with over ten thousand olive trees, a bounty of olive varieties are grown, including Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino, Maurino, Coratina and Leccio del Corno. In 1997 a newly installed imported state-of-the-art Sinolea extraction system enabled the extraction of olive oil without pressure and thus heat, which destroys flavor. Harvesting of the fruit is accomplished with a combination of hand picking and the use of pneumatic combs, which gently reproduce the raking action of picking by hand. Traditional stone wheels crush the olives and the oil is extracted the same day of harvest, producing the freshest olive flavor possible with varietal complexity, bountiful olive flavor and a distinct peppery bite.
Eric Schramm owns the oldest California wild mushroom company, selling 30 tons of wild mushrooms a year, 25 species of fresh mushrooms and 6 species of dried mushrooms, as well as huckleberries plucked from the local woods. Mendocino Mushrooms is dedicated to supplying us with the absolute best product nature allows them to obtain. Eric says passionately about wild mushrooms: “every species of mushroom is a unique and different taste experience. To compare a Cep’s flavor to a Morel or Horn of Plenty to a Candy Cap is much like explaining the difference between beef and chicken or apples and oranges. There are no parameters to explain each unique and individual flavor. Only experience and experimentation will release this world to you.”
Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company
The Lewallen family, wildcrafters of sea vegetables, offers a complete line of packaged and bulk sea vegetables to retailers throughout North America. A family cottage industry, they harvest from wild seaweed on the Mendocino County coastline, an essentially unpolluted area according to state monitoring agencies and their own observations. By using tender loving care to select the best plants, fresh-water rinsing, rapid sun-drying and careful hand packaging, they strive to produce the highest quality sea vegetables possible.
Niman Ranch provides the finest tasting, gourmet quality beef, pork and lamb in the world to San Francisco Bay Area restaurants and fine markets. In contrast to mass production of meat on ‘modern factory farms,’ Niman Ranch has developed a network of sustainable family farms owned by ranchers known personally to Bill Niman, who raise their animals free range on grass and natural feeds, without steroids, sub-therapeutic antibiotics, or other artificial growth promotants, and who treat their animals with dignity and respect. They control the quality every step of the way from early on at the ranch to the final delivery.
North Coast Brewing Co.
The North Coast Brewing Co., a real pioneer in the microbrewery movement, opened in 1988 on California’s rugged Mendocino coast. The brewery has won more than 70 national and international awards and was recently named “One of the 10 Best Breweries in the World” by the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago. In 1996 they revived the Acme label, which has a western heritage dating back to 1862 when it was first brewed in San Francisco.
Old Mill Farm
A statement directly from Old Mill Farm says it best: “It is our intent to create and maintain a family operated farm that will serve as an example of the principles of sustainable living. We will do this through locally supported sustainable agriculture, viticulture, silviculture, animal husbandry, and soil science, with highest regard for the environment (locally, regionally, and globally). Farming without the use of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and insecticides, we will consider and weigh all ecological impacts so that our actions may benefit a diverse, sustainable farm.”
Rosie Organic Chicken
Rosie was the first chicken in the United States to carry a certified organic label. Rosie’s diet consists of 100% certified organic corn and soybean grown on soil that has been free of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers for at least three years. They can trace a box of Rosies from their delivery truck all the way back to the field where their organic feed was grown. Rosie is a free-range chicken, allowed to run and forage outdoors in an open-air, fenced area outside the barn. At market, Rosie’s weight averages four pounds.
Point Reyes Farmstead
Point Reyes Station
Original Blue cheese is a gloriously creamy, full-flavored one. It has been described as gentler than Roquefort, smoother than Stiltona blue for people who don't normally like blue cheese. Made from raw milk, it is a true farmstead cheese, produced from the milk of one herd of cows right where they are raised. Two new items have been added to the line: an addictive "dip, dressing, and spread" available in dairy sections of retail markets, great for appetizers, on sandwiches, or as a quick light sauce, and Monte's Reserve, an aged rich blue currently available only to the restaurant trade.
Russian River Pistachios, Inc.
Owner Rose Waring’s pistachio orchard consists of11 acres in Redwood Valley on the Russian River. Trees were first planted in 1979 and production goes up and down, depending on the vagaries of Mother Nature. Harvest is in the late fall before the rains begin. A shaker and catcher are used to harvest the nuts. They are then put through a dry huller, a water bath to discard the blanks and finally into a dryer. The nuts are shipped to Artois for further processing, sizing, roasting with salt and packaging either in 1 or 25-pound bags. The non-splits are shelled and can be available in a raw state or seasoned with various flavorings. Russian River Pistachios met the requirements of the California Certified Organic Farmers in 1997. It has been their goal to provide a product with a unique flavor, grown and processed in an ecologically friendly system that is in the best interest of the land and the consumer.
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Makers
Scharffen Berger was founded in 1996 by John Scharffenberger of Anderson Valley sparkling wine fame and his partner, physician-turned chocolatier, Robert Steinberg. It is the first American chocolate company founded in the last 50 years that processes chocolate all the way from bean to bar. Recently voted the San Francisco Chronicle’s highest rated product from the annual Taster’s Choice panel (outranking Europe’s Callebaut and Valrhona) and one of the top finishers ever, this well-balanced chocolate with a full, rich flavor and snappy texture was pronounced ‘awesome!’ Chef Kantor, an old acquaintance of John’s, was one of the first California chefs to feature this extraordinary chocolate on his dessert menu, where it has a permanent place.
Sonoma County Poultry
In 1993 Jim Reichardt split off from Jim’s family ranch, which had supplied ducks into Chinatown markets for over 90 years, in order to fill the niche market of raising high quality, larger-breasted and leaner Peking Ducks. The first ducks came from a small farm near Salinas who imported breeding stock developed in Denmark. Now a flock of day-old ducklings are sent once a week and are raised in the perfect poultry climate of Sonoma County with the special techniques developed by the Reichardts, which allow the ducks ‘free range,’ indoors and outdoors, enjoying the cool, foggy summer nights and warm days...hence the name ‘Liberty Ducks.’
Stella Cadente Olive Oil Company
Nestled in the rolling hills of northern California and surrounded by towering redwoods, Boonville’s Shooting Star Ranch in Mendocino County is the home of Stella Cadente Olive Oil Company, making award-winning premium extra virgin oils from handpicked and stone crushed Mission and Tuscan varietals. The inspiration for the ranch, shooting stars, became the perfect name (in Italian) for the company. Try their oils by stopping at one of their olive oil bars at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg or Mosswood Market in Boonville on your way to Mendocino. In the spring they offer special basil, blood orange, Meyer lemon and Persian lime crush oils.
On a two-acre ‘river field,’ where a tiny creek meets the Russian River in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, is a sustainable* farm run by Wayne and Lee James, a brother and sister team who grow glorious chiles - red, green, orange, yellow and even chocolate-colored, over 10,000 chile and pepper plants and 85 varieties in a good year. Once the chiles are ripe and hand harvested, the ones that are destined to become chipotles are placed on trays and put into a one-of-a-kind smoker where they spend five days with ‘round-the-clock’ attention. From there they go into a solar-assist gas dryer and checked each day until each pod is perfectly dry and perfect for use in cooking. For all lovers of chipotles and chiles, wild and mild, check out their website where you can order directly.
Unwavering in their commitment to producing the very best shade-grown, fair trade organic coffee (and teas), Joan and Paul Katzeff have recently celebrated 25 years in the specialty coffee business, visionaries in the field. They have strived to create an environmentally conscious model company, located in the picturesque Noyo Harbor. Monies returned to countries of origin as part of their rebate programs have improved the quality of life on basic levels. The MacCallum House custom blend features the exceptional award winning Maracaturra varietal from Nicaraguan coffee farmer, Byron Corrales Martinez, who uses biodynamic farming techniques.