A series of pop-up dinners at local farms have been charming the culinary scene on the coast. The Fog Eater Cafe is the creative venture of Erica Schneider and Haley Samas-Berry. While still hunting for a brick and mortar location, the duo serve vegetarian meals and craft cocktails inspired by both fresh plant-based cuisine of Northern California and the hearty recipes of the deep South. Erica, a chef originally from Nashville, recently moved to Mendocino this year to work closer with Haley on this exciting new project. Born and raised in Fort Bragg, Haley has lived and worked in the beverage industry from coast to coast, managing and consulting for bars and restaurants. It was while working together in New York City that the first seeds were planted on opening a restaurant in Northern California. Supported closely by their partners Michael Winter (Cafe Beaujolais) and Nathan Maxwell Cann (Little River Inn), the Fog Eater Cafe has grown from a small idea to a monthly progression of fantastic pop-ups that celebrate the produce grown right here in Mendocino County.
For each of the dinners, the team works closely with local farms, such as Nye Ranch and Fortunate Farms, to create four courses with cocktail pairings that showcase the most delicious produce of the season. This culinary style of craft cocktails invites traditions of the kitchen into the glass. Ingredients in the cocktails have ranged from nut fat-washed whiskey, milk punches, foraged herbal syrups, savory mushroom infusions, and even local beer. This recipe from a favorite pop-up at Nye Ranch can easily be made at home!
Recipe: The Fiddler’s Green
- 1-1/2 oz London Dry-style gin
- 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
- 1/4 oz Pineapple Sage Syrup*
- 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
Shake in cocktail shaker. Double strain into small mason jar. Garnish with a fresh sprig of Pineapple Sage.
*To make the Pineapple Sage Syrup: Gather 4 tablespoons of pineapple sage. Simmer in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes. Let cool. Whisk in one cup of unrefined sugar until no grains are left.
For future events, check out fogeatercafe.com.