As Fresh as it Gets Award Winners
Below are the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau partners who have received As Fresh As It Gets Awards for serving fresh local fare!
"As Fresh as it Gets" Virtual Awards Ceremony
2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least, but many of our local restaurants have been more dedicated than ever to purchase San Mateo County-grown produce and products. This year, we honored the chefs and restaurants who committed to supporting local agriculture with a very special virtual awards ceremony.
Congratulations to this years' "As Fresh as it Gets" winners! We want to thank you for supporting local San Mateo County farms and serving fresh and local products!
These partners are strong supporters of our visitors and local producers. Scroll down and learn more about these great businesses!
Arcangeli Grocery Company/Norm's Market
Mike Benedetti, Owner
Established by Sante Arcangeli in 1929 and managed by his family for five generations, Arcangeli Grocery Company/Norm’s Market is a Pescadero institution. With 41 years under his belt, current owner and fourth generation, Mike Benedetti, has been showing the ropes to his son Chris to take over the business.
Arcangeli’s is known for its specialty Garlic Herb Artichoke Bread but offers a wide selection of delicious bread and other baked goods, a number of which are from recipes created by Sante himself back in the 1930s.
Bay Watch Burlingame
Norman (manager) & amazing cook team; Daniel, Fernando, and Orlando
For over thirteen years, Norman has led the Bay Watch kitchen with the highest standards. With his strict principle of using only the freshest locally sourced ingredients, Norman takes pride in high-quality foods made “locally for the locals”. Jesus “Chuy” has been instrumental in the creation and execution of the extensive Bay Watch menu for the last 13 years. Chuy thrives on inventing new tasty dishes from what is available without having to look further than an arm’s reach… like magic, seemingly from nowhere. Fernando completes the triple threat that feeds our guests. Rooted in healthy cooking, Fernando loves working with the variety of fresh produce we use at Bay Watch.
These three men are true as fresh as it gets!
Blossoms & Botanicals
Regina & Mark Skinner, Owners
Blossoms Flower Shop in San Mateo has been proudly serving the San Mateo Bay Area since 1983. They provide the freshest flowers, purchased directly from local growers at the San Francisco Flower Mart. Their professional designers can create anything to meet your needs, from the simplest bouquet of mixed seasonal flowers to the most sophisticated wedding arrangements.
Now under new owners Mark and Regina Skinner, the shop has been renamed "Blossoms and Botanicals". They are married and make a great team, providing awesome floral and plant designs. Regina has designed there for many years.
California Catering Company - San Mateo
Moises Perez, Chef
At 22 years old, Moises arrived from Jalisco, Mexico to work in the culinary world. He is now one of the head cooks at the South San Francisco Conference Center and Dominic's at Oyster Point. In 2017, he began working at California Catering Company - San Mateo with a crew of great people and passionate workers.
Every day they strive to give customers fresh, outstanding meals that make them say, "This is good food! I want more, and I want to come back!" California Catering Company will assist you with any type of event, and they’ll always make you happy with their fresh, local food.
Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat - Woodside
Isabelle Jackson Nunes, Executive Chef
Isabelle Jackson Nunes is the Executive Chef at Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat Woodside. She has 10+ years of culinary experience in various kitchens across Northern California.
Isabelle brings an ecological consciousness to her cooking and menu design, and is a passionate locavore, honoring the tenets of local, earth-centered, and sustainable cuisine.
She is an avid supporter of CSAs, Slow Food, and only works with top producers to deliver Canyon Ranch’s signature plant-forward cuisine.
Isabelle oversees all food and beverage elements of the Woodside property, driving innovation with local, seasonal, and balanced menus that nourish body, mind, and soul.
Cascade Bar & Grill at Costanoa
Manuel Jimenez, Head Chef
From the coast of Oaxaca to the heart of the North Coast, Manuel Jimenez knows both the bounty of the Pacific Ocean and the mountains. Learning to cook at a young age, Manuel would help his mom and dad prepare for their large family gatherings. He was charged with preparing the Oaxacan barbacoa, which is shredded beef marinated with the deep, rich flavors of the mountains of Oaxaca.
After moving to the U.S., Manuel's first job was in agriculture. Working at a nursery in the south county, Manuel planted seed starters. He planted unfamiliar vegetables he had never heard of in Oaxaca, such as fennel and arugula. As a young aspiring chef, he learned quickly the flavorful value and characters of these vegetables by getting his first commercial kitchen job at Costanoa Restaurant & Bar.
At Cascade Bar & Grill, Manuel started as a dishwasher and has continued to learn all of the stations and tasks needed to manage a kitchen. During the almost two decades of commitment to this resort, Manuel has mastered the art of cooking North Coast favorites, such as artichokes, Brussel sprouts, seafood from the Pacific, and the beef that keeps our North Coast pastures green and fertile.
The Conservatory at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Alain Zhang, Executive Chef
Zhang was raised in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, China. Surrounded by cooking throughout his childhood – his mother’s exceptional cooking was famous around town and his aunt and uncle owned a restaurant in the Ordos – Zhang knew at an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in the culinary arts.
After completing his general education and working in his aunt and uncle’s restaurant for a year, Zhang began his formal culinary career as a cook at the Portman at Inner Mongolia International Hotel, Hohhot before working his way up to Chef de Partie.
For the next five years, Zhang continued honing his gastronomic skills before advancing to Sous Chef as part of the opening culinary team at Shangri-La Hotel Hohhot at Xin Café, the first restaurant in the capital to feature an open-theatre kitchen concept inviting diners to view the quality of ingredients that go into every dish.
Looking to expand his culinary scope internationally, Zhang joined the opening team of Quest Restaurant at Jumeirah Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi as Chef de Partie. During his year there, the fine-dining Pan Asian cuisine restaurant won the “Best Newcomer Restaurant Abu Dhabi” and “Best Chef” awards in 2011 and 2012 by What’s On Awards Abu Dhabi.
Shortly after, Zhang sought out new opportunities in his homeland with a continued focus on fresh regional ingredients, including serving as Chef de Cuisine at Le Meridien Qingdao where he crafted menus and oversaw all culinary outlets. In 2014, he accepted a Sous Chef position at Sand restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay before being promoted to Chef de Cuisine.
Zhang looks forward to developing relationships with the local farmers and fishermen of the Half Moon Bay coast to source the finest produce and sustainable meat and seafood that is and will continue to be, at the heart of The Conservatory menu.
In his spare time, Zhang loves to travel and visit parks and beaches. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and two children.
Dominic’s at Oyster Point
Mikey Ramirez, Executive Chef
Ismael “Mikey” Ramirez has a long history with Dominic’s at Oyster Point, having been involved with the company since 1992.
Since taking the role of executive chef in 2000, Chef Mikey has worked to support the community and enhance the flavor of Dominic’s at Oyster Point’s offerings by incorporating fresh, local ingredients.
He develops and creates new dishes with respect to the availability of ingredients in our local farms to impress their clients.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Juan “Kiko” Moreno, Chef
Kiko’s self-taught culinary journey began at an early age. He grew up in a community of cooks where he would start mock “Top Chef” cooking contests with his best friend Ramone. He started working at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company in 2013 as a dishwasher and quickly moved up the ladder to work the pantry, the grill, private events, and is now the Kitchen Manager.
Kiko’s love of Japanese cuisine has resulted in creative menu specials including Kiko’s Wings, made with his special housemade teriyaki, and grilled Ahi tuna with ginger avocado sauce.
Half Moon Bay Lodge
Eric Bradtmiller, Executive Chef
Executive Chef Eric Bradtmiller started his culinary journey at the prestigious New England Culinary Institute as an honors graduate in 1989. Shortly after, the sought after new graduate was recruited as an apprentice to Teberio restaurant in Georgetown & Le Cadeau restaurant in Aspen. Due to extensive recommendations from chefs at both locations, Executive Chef Jean Pierre Dubray of the Ritz Carlton SF hired on young Bradtmiller as a Banquet Chef, where he refined his skills for the next seven years.
Chef Eric’s desire for culinary adventure and education lead him to his next stop, Hong Kong. He was recruited as a group chef to the Coyote Bar & Grill, where he oversaw operations to 4 restaurants. After years in Hong Kong, Chef Eric wanted to test his sea legs.
Hired on as Executive Chef of the Yacht Sea Angel and traveling numerous times from Sausalito to Puerto Rico. He finally found paradise…Half Moon Bay, California.
Living in Half Moon Bay, Chef Eric works at Bay Area Corporate Catering in San Mateo. Chef Eric coordinates an average of 3000 meals a week in several locations with multiple deliveries daily. Chef Eric is an incredible talent and possesses a contagious personality that lights up the kitchen every day. We are extremely lucky to have him feeding our community and some of the greatest business minds in Silicon Valley.
From Bay Area Corporate Catering and all of our clients throughout the greater bay area, we would like to congratulate Executive Chef Eric Bradtmiller for this award and thank him for his inventive cuisine and mind-body-spirit approach to food. A combination that comes so natural for him but nearly impossible for others to duplicate.
Hee Han, Head Chef
Hee was born and raised in Korea and came to America when he was 30 years old. He started making sushi in San Francisco for 10 years and has been working at Joy Sushi since 2007.
Hee has excellent skills, takes care of raw fish, and makes delicious sushi rice.
Loma Mar Store & Kitchen
Marcy Steiner, Chef
This rural market, cafe, and the post office is a historic Bay Area destination and gathering place for the local community and visitors passing through. Enjoy chef-prepared food, a coffee bar, and handpicked groceries. Swing by for socially-distanced outdoor seating and delicious new sandwiches.
The to-go menu features a variety of delicious options from burgers and sandwiches to sides of soup, salad, and drinks on tap. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available, too.
Julie Mazzetti, Owner
For over 45 years, this family-owned business has been a Bay Area staple. Located in Pacifica, Mazzetti's provides the finest baked goods using only the freshest ingredients, which means no preservatives are used in any of their family recipes. Mazzetti's specializes in cakes for all special occasions. In fact, their wedding cakes are so popular they mastered over 700 last year! You’ll also enjoy their tasty French or Danish pastries, bread and rolls, cupcakes, cookies and pies.
Miramar Beach Restaurant
Francisco Jeronimo, Executive Chef
Chef Francisco Jeronimo lives in Half Moon Bay with his wife and three kids. His passion for cooking began when I was eighteen years old. In the past, he has worked for many local restaurants in Half Moon Bay and attended culinary school to learn the basics of cooking and to remain current with developing trends.
He currently oversees the kitchen at Miramar Beach Restaurant as the Executive Chef, where, for the past 25 years, his responsibilities have been to plan menus, make purchases, and manage the kitchen staff.
Navio at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Jakob Esko, Executive Chef
Raised in Sweden near the Arctic Circle, hunting was an important means of survival for Esko and his family – moose and reindeer were often on the menu at home. Drawing from his Scandinavian roots and international experience, Esko’s European-inspired culinary style complements the fresh, locally sourced cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay.
Esko’s illustrious career spans over 26 years and has taken him all over the world. In that time he has been recognized for excellence in team management as well as his culinary prowess. He was awarded “Leader of the Year” from Hotel Arts Barcelona where he served as Chef at Restaurant Veranda. Years later, during his tenure as Executive Chef at Capella Singapore, Esko was named one of the top 10 best “Western Cuisine” chefs by the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards.
Esko held esteemed positions at numerous Michelin star restaurants such as The Square in London and the legendary Ulriksdals Wärdshus in Stockholm before moving to the United States in 2012. It was then that he joined Capella Hotel Washington D.C., Georgetown as Executive Chef. There he carefully designed daily menus to reflect the best of the season’s ingredients, which often featured expertly prepared seafood and bone-in meats.
Drawn back to Spain in 2014, Esko took on the role of Executive Chef at W Barcelona. During his tenure there, he successfully managed and developed the hotel’s culinary team and high-volume banquet department in addition to the design and implementation of all menus.
Esko’s striking accomplishments as a thoughtful leader and culinary artist have positioned him as the perfect addition to The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. He will oversee all culinary aspects of the resort and is looking forward to embracing the rich, coastal flavors offered by Northern California.
Quattro Restaurant & Bar
Martin Morelli, Executive Chef
A member of the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley culinary team since 2013, Martín Morelli started as Sous Chef and has brought more than 15 years of culinary experience to the Hotel. Now Executive Chef, Martin oversees the Hotel’s culinary team. Martín’s career began in his home country of Uruguay, following his graduation from the Escuela Superior de Hoteleria, Gastronomia y Turismo at the U.T., as the Commis Chef at the former Four Seasons Resort Carmelo.
From 2003 to 2010, Martín dedicated his time to the resort, where he worked in such culinary roles as Commis Chef, Demi Chef de Partie, and Chef de Partie. Martín also was the Chef de Partie at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo for more than two years and spent a year as the Sous Chef and Chef de Cuisine at Joya Restaurant in Palo Alto.
Originally from Montevideo, the arts and culture capital of Uruguay, Martín has always had an appreciation for avant-garde techniques while remaining loyal to his minimalist culinary roots. His innate creativity and enthusiasm for experimentation have led him through various kitchens in South, Central, and North America. Martín artfully executes innovative menus showcasing the culinary vibrancy of the region.
When not in the kitchen, Martín enjoys spending his free time with his wife Noelia and two children Matías and Olivia, exploring the diverse culinary scene of the Bay Area while further developing his photography skills.
Que SeRaw SeRaw
Kerry Bitner, Owner & Chef
Kerry Bitner has owned and operated Que SeRaw SeRaw in Burlingame, CA since 2015. She is passionate about preparing raw, organic, plant-based food that is delicious and convenient. She believes in offering her customers healthy choices that taste great and help them feel great. She is also an advocate for shifting to a more plant-based diet because it’s more sustainable for the planet. Kerry has been a nutrition enthusiast experimenting at home with raw food preparation for many years. She has taken classes with several leaders in the raw food movement including David Wolfe, Elaina Love, and Victoria Butenko.
She had a successful prior career as a television commercial and news producer and editor and is now applying her strong planning, logistics, and project management background towards operating a thriving restaurant.
When she isn’t dreaming up new plant-based recipes, she enjoys spending time with her family, practicing yoga, exploring the Bay area, watching movies, and gardening.
Kerry has lived in Burlingame for over 20 years, and while raising two children she developed a deep appreciation for the community and has been an active volunteer supporting Burlingame public schools and other local non-profits. She is thrilled to be running her business five minutes from her home and seeks out opportunities to collaborate with and give back to the local community.
Sam’s Chowder House
Lewis Rossman, Executive Chef
Lewis Rossman, the award-winning Executive Chef/Partner for Sam’s Chowder House, has contributed to the success of some of the Bay Area’s top dining spots. As Executive Chef of Cetrella in Half Moon Bay, California, he won the San Francisco Chronicle “Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants” three years running, and “Culinary Hospitality Restaurant of the Year” by Sante, the Magazine for Restaurant Professionals. As Chef de Cuisine at Acquerello, rated Wine Spectator's “10 best Italian Restaurants in the U.S.”, Rossman worked closely with chef Suzette Gresham.
Rossman is originally from rural Buck's County, a charming area outside of Philadelphia filled with farmlands and wineries, reminiscent of California's Napa Valley.
After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, and working at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel, he traveled throughout the Mediterranean where he learned more about simple, rustic cooking, inspiring his keen enthusiasm for incorporating local farmer's produce into his menus. For further inspiration, Rossman looks to his childhood memories spent on the eastern seaboard and the great meals he enjoyed at the fish houses on the Atlantic.
He has established long-lasting relationships with specialty farmers around Half Moon Bay and today his mantra remains sustainable, fresh, local when possible, and always seasonal. The ingredients and produce in the fields of Half Moon Bay in the morning often finds its way onto the salad plate at Sam’s by evening. This passion for fine, fresh ingredients is evident from the house-made dressings, sauces, and house-made desserts served at the restaurant.
At Sam’s Chowder House, Rossman participates in the overall management and directs all back-of-the-house operations. He is a partner and thought leader in all of the group's restaurant ventures.
Ryne Dinglasan, Executive Chef
Ryne has run and worked in some of San Francisco’s coolest kitchens, namely Hard Water SF and Mission Bowling Club. Ryne loves working at 31st Union in San Mateo, CA because “quality, house-made food with fresh ingredients matters.”
He believes that the food scene on the Peninsula is exciting and compares it to what San Francisco once was. You’ll notice his absolute obsession with quality and process as his motto is “get it right!”
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
Chris Garrett, Owner & Brewmaster
At Devil’s Canyon, Brewmaster Chris Garrett sources local ingredients and products whenever possible. Their specialty beer releases include local and responsibly sourced ingredients and many of their barrel-aged products include fresh local fruit.
Devil’s Canyon’s handcrafted root beer is brewed with locally sourced honey and they partner with their neighboring vintners by featuring their locally made wine in their event center. Their commitment to sustainability begins with the support of the immediate community.
Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant
Gerardo Naranjo, Chef
Rooted in the Bay Area for over 25 years, Chef Naranjo brings a stealth approach to bold flavors. A stint at the famed Mediterranean haunt, Dio Deka set the stage for almost a decade at the South Bay Favorite, Alexander’s Steakhouse.
Under the tutelage of Michelin Star Chef Jeffrey Stout, Chef Gerardo incorporated Asian influences to his California inspired cuisine.
The Family Chef
Amy Fothergill, Owner & Chef
Chef Amy Fothergill’s special diet journey began in 2007 when she had to start cooking gluten-free and dairy-free for her daughter. In order to accomplish this daunting task, she used her training and years of experience in the kitchen to teach herself a new way of cooking and baking. She experimented with the ingredients and techniques necessary for recreating traditional dishes into equally delicious gluten-free versions. Most people say they can’t tell the difference.
Currently, she is a speaker, author, instructor, foodservice consultant, blogger, and food photographer. Her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love, is award-winning and has been used to start a few gluten-free businesses. Additionally, she is the owner of The Family Chef Gluten-Free Baking, a cottage food operation in San Mateo County, where she bakes up tasty gluten-free products using fresh ingredients she finds from the farmer’s markets and local stores.
The Grill House - Redwood City
James Hayes, Chef
James Hayes brings his extensive experience in hospitality and customer service into developing and maintaining the back of the house operations for The Grill House. James' primary responsibilities include developing the cuisine and cultural experience as well as training, hiring, mentoring, and developing staff in all aspects of food hospitality.
James brings 17 years of professional experience to the restaurant. James began his food hospitality career working as a kitchen manager at an Italian restaurant in San Diego. He then worked in partnership with Chef Dane Mechlin, American Personal Chef of the Year Award winner, where he learned fine dining cuisine, techniques, and service. Using his tutelage and guidance, James catered events for many high profile clients including members of the San Francisco 49ers and Stanford football teams, as well as the Palo Alto Junior Museum and The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.
Highway 1 Brewing Company
Elizabeth & Keith Malmborg, Owners
Highway 1 Brewing Company is a family-owned business. Keith and his team brew the beer, taking into account the coastal seasons and crops. Elizabeth strives to create a welcoming atmosphere where guests can kick-back and refresh while on the coast exploring. Our craft beer is brewed from scratch and our menu maximizes locally available sources of produce, fish, poultry, and meat on a creative menu. We are open year-round with beer, food, and merchandise available to go. Outdoor Seating is also available in our Beer Garden. Highway 1 Brewing Company is family- and dog-friendly. We look forward to “making it all good” for you the next time you’re on the beautiful San Mateo County coast!
Moonside Bakery and Café
Isidro Contretas, Chef
Isidro began working at Moonside Bakery and Cafe 25 years ago, training from the ground up from owner and Certified Master Pastry Chef Thomas Grauke, the bakery end of the business. He has also self-trained on the kitchen menu, turning it into a delicious complement to our baked goods.
He is always striving for a plate that incorporates local, fresh ingredients made from scratch.
Number5Kitchen - San Carlos
Henry Eng, Owner & Chef
Growing up in Hong Kong, Henry was surrounded by family and culture. He credits his grandaunt with being the biggest influence behind his newest endeavor. Hong Kong provided Henry with different tastes and types of food, and he eventually furthered his culinary career in New York, London, Singapore, San Francisco, and Palo Alto.
Henry also managed to find time to receive a degree from the French Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class. As the chef/owner of number5kitchen, a family-owned and -operated restaurant in San Carlos, Henry is committed to serving farm-to-table local cuisine crafted with seasonal, hand-picked ingredients.
Photo courtesy of Paulette Phlipot.
Sacrilege Brewery + Kitchen
Santiago Flores, Chef
At Sacrilege, we embrace the irreverent, the uncommon, and the unexpected. From our ever-changing food menu inspired by ingredients sourced directly from the Coast to our ever-rotating tap list, you can have faith that we will transcend the typical, in pursuit of the memorable.
South San Francisco Conference Center Catering
Mikey Ramirez, Executive Chef
Ismael “Mikey” Ramirez has a long history with Dominic’s at Oyster Point and South San Francisco Conference Center Catering, having been involved with the company since 1992. Since taking the role of executive chef in 2000, Chef Mikey has worked to support the community and enhance the flavor of Dominic’s at Oyster Point and the South San Francisco Conference Center’s offerings by incorporating fresh, local ingredients. He develops and creates new dishes with respect to the availability of ingredients in our local farms to impress clients.