Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Cooking for Solutions

Jennifer Lo, Social Media and Marketing Specialist for our Northern California Region, loves sharing her passion for food, travel and photography.

We’re so excited to be participating at this year’s Cooking for Solutions Sustainable Foods Celebration at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22! It’s an exciting event to celebrate food and wine and to discover how our food choices affect the health of the soil, water and ocean wildlife. (Read on for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.)

Being a new Bay Area resident, I can’t wait to attend this year’s celebration! One of my favorite childhood memories is of going to the local aquarium and running my hands through the tide pools to touch the starfish. I can’t think of any better way to spend the weekend than to explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium while watching celebrity chef cooking demonstrations and tasting good food.

With our recent commitment to move toward fully sustainable seafood departments, this is also a tasty way to celebrate our partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. So if you are lucky enough to be in the Monterey area next weekend (May 21-22), you’ve got to check out this event!

Here are some highlights not to be missed:

  • Learn insider cooking secrets from the pros - Join celebrity chefs like Alton Brown, Virginia Willis and more to see firsthand how delicious cooking with sustainable food can be.
  • Graze on artisan foods at our Whole Foods Marketplace - Featuring local Northern California growers and producers: Frog Hollow, Rustic Bakery, Three Twins Ice Cream, Lev’s Kombucha, Alba Organics, Santa Cruz Coffee and more! (We have about 20 local producers joining us!)
  • Join the Talk & Taste events - Learn how to make your own sauerkraut with Happy Girl Kitchen, enjoy a tea tutorial and tasting with Numi tea, and find out how to create three easy, delicious dishes using raspberry jam with Serendipity.
  • Enjoy samples of Halibut Ceviche and Shrimp Cocktail - Crafted by our Seafood team; take some time and learn more about our Sustainable Seafood Program.
  • Visit the Kids’ Zone – From face painting to making your own trail mix, there will be activities for all ages. There will even be a photo booth where we can snap your picture so you can bring the memories home with you!

So come and join us for a weekend filled with good food, education and fun! Click here for more event details. We’re proud to partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a sponsor for this year’s Cooking for Solutions Sustainable Foods Celebration and we hope to see you all there! Want to win a pair of tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium? Just share your favorite aquarium memory in the comments section below for a chance to win a free pair of general admission tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. (Tickets are valid for Aquarium admission anytime, not just during the Cooking for Solutions event.)

Leave your comment by May 20th and you may be re-living those memories soon. Good luck!

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71 comments

Comments

Robyn I says …

The first time I'd ever seen strawberry anemones was many years ago at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They were so tiny and fairy like that I felt like I was in a miniature pink world. It was difficult to move on to any other exhibit since I was so transfixed. Even now, any time I see them, I think of that first time I "met" them and am taken back in time. If you catch me while I'm looking at them, I'm always smiling.

Marie says …

As a student at CSU Monterey Bay I was fortunate enough to attend a formal dance at the aquarium. This was when the college was smaller and the formal dance seemed to be an intimate experience. From dancing near the otters to sitting with friends near the jellyfish exhibit I am not sure any other experience at the aquarium will ever be the same. It was beautiful at night and there was something new and exciting around every corner.It was an experience I will never forget and will always cherish those memories with friends. I now teach high school and attend many formal dances....nothing will ever compare to a formal dance at the aquarium.

Cecilia says …

I was on a school field trip to the old Steinhart Aquarium in SF when they opened the brand new circular shark tank. I had my picture in the paper - a wide eyed second grader in awe of the sharks swimming around me.

Elaine says …

I really enjoy the jellyfish exhibit and was especially pleased when I visited the Aquarium and there was an additional jellyfish and art exhibit.

SusieBeeOnMaui (Eat Little, Eat Big) says …

Took my niece when she was about 4 or 5 when we lived in SF and we couldn't get her away from the jellyfish exhibit. I must admit, I was mesmerized too!

Jess says …

I was in line outside to see the new wing when it first opened, and when I looked down, there was the tiniest frog you ever saw. I captured it in a clean cup and brought it to a staff member - they called for an "aquariast," who came to get it. Hopefully it ended up in the right exhibit....

terry burbank says …

we took our son there when he was 8 for Shark week, he really liked sharks. At a kiosks outside the shark exhibit, there was a a lady with several shark related items and questions and started asking Marcus if he knew the answers. He knew about 90% of the answers. The lady was very impressed and told us about the teen internship program, she thought Marcus would fit right in!

Nancy Wright says …

Our visit back the childhood memories of surfing the tidal pools of Northern California as a child. It offers the opportunity for all people to step into and experience the oceans environment. What a great time.

suzi says …

We were lucky enough to attend a Christmas party at the aquarium, felt a little strange eating sushi right next to the shark exhibit.

melissa robinson says …

My favorite memory of The Monterey bay Aquarium was when my daughter Isabella was 3 years old, she loved being able to touch things in the one pond, and was amazed by everything that she saw! It would be great to back again with her again, now that she is older.

David Lenchner says …

My aquarium memories go back to the time I brought my 2 young boys along with my two elderly parents to the aquarium as we stopped in on the way back from Los Angeles to Santa Rosa. We had just spent several days in LA with my daughter and grand kids and needed to find a place to spend the night on the roads trip home. We found a motle just off the freeway near Monterey and as luck would have it we got tickets to the aquarium that day. My parents and 2 young boys had never been there before so this was an eye opening experience for the kids as well as my parents. I have vivid memories of my father holding my young son, Skyler and standing in front of the giant fish tanks watching all the marine life swim by. The wide eyed stares of both generations was a memory I have never forgotten. This trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was a bonding experience for our whole family and brought my children closer to my parents. I also remember my father and my son both running out of gas, so to speak and falling asleep while sitting on a bench surrounded by the deep blue sea and making a picture in my mind that still reminds me of this trip 15 yeras later. My parents are both gone now and this trip to the Aquarium was the only one we made as a complete family. Every time I return to the Montery Bay Aquarioum I can't help but think back to that special trip and the great experience it provided for my children as well as my parents. I will always remember my parents joy at spending special time with their grandchildren thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Tracy Warner says …

I was in Monterey for the CA Holstein convention. My kids and I went on the group outing. It was dinner at the aquarium. We got our plate of food and had lots of choices where to eat. We came around the corner and there wss a giant squid on the glass. We sat at the table right I'm front of him. How many people can say they had dinner with a giant sea squid? We even included him in the dinner conversation!

Icw says …

My favorite memory when visiting the monterey aquarium was when I was able to take my 3 & 5 year old with their four cousins. When they were all together you could feel their energy and excitement in the air. When we reached a small almost caved area with three glass walls that is where the magic began. Directly hitting these walls were tidal waves crashing and it felt like these girls had the power to make the waves crash in front of their stop signal hands and go completely over them almost like the Mickey Mouse scene in Fantasia. The laughter coming from them was truly the highlight of our trip.

Jolene Matthews says …

I went with my grandma every year. I thought it was the most amazing place. I loved the ocean since I was young. Especially the sharks. I loved watching the fish swim but and watching the tidal pool go in and out was always fun. I got to touch real sting rays and starfish. It was amazing. After all those animals I read about in books I actually got to touch with my own hands. My favorite was watching the seaweed sway in the tank back and forth with the water. Even watching the fish 'go with the flow' and just go where ever the water pushes them. As I grew older, went to college and a full time job I rarely got a chance to go. Unfortunately, my grandma passed before we could go again. I've been watching the live webcams and I remember when they had the great white shark and released it. I wanted to go for my birthday and to put a rose into the sea for my grandma because when I think of the aquarium, all I can think of is all the times I had with my grandma and everything I've learned.

christmas leubrie says …

I went to the aquarium with my friend and her father, Jack, an old fisherman with Alzheimers. We stood watching the jellyfish together, thrilled. All of us were swaying slightly with the hypnotic, enchanting motion of the jellyfish and the ethereal music softly playing in the background.When I looked at Jack, his face was relaxed and so happy. He seemed transported, and enthralled. Thank you for that moment, for all of us.

Sandra says …

I am entering this competition because I have never been lucky enough to come to the aquarium. I have been to aquariums in Brighton, UK, and Cincinnati, but never to Monterey. Since we recently moved to California one of our goals is to come to Monterey and to come to the world famous Monterey Aquarium. My grandchildren have told me of the magnificence, but I cannot describe what I have not seen. I have a special feeling for dolphins and hope that if there are any that they have a happy home. The wonders of the ocean, and to see them from underneath too sound truly amazing. My husband and I look forward to coming to the Monterey Aquarium very much.

Kari W. says …

One of my favorite Aquarium memories was touching for the first time a manta ray. They were so soft - it felt like velvet! I was so amazed that they actually seemed to like be petted. It gave me a new understanding and appreciation for these amazing under water creatures.

Abbe says …

The first time I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was in 1987 when my daughter about 2.5 years old. She was deathly afraid of clowns at that time and, wouldn't you know it, there was a clown roaming about. I tried hard to keep her view in an opposite direction, but she saw him anyway and started howling. I took her outside so as not to bother other visitors and, wouldn't you know it, the clown came outside shortly after us and, again, my daughter went nuts. Needless to say, I didn't see too much of the aquarium that time. Years passed and in 2006 I had another opportunity to go to the Aquarium with this same daughter, who fortunately at age 22 was no longer afraid of clowns. We had a wonderful time and saw virtually every exhibit. Our favorite was the sea otters - such fun - but then we moved upstairs to the penguins and watched as two penguins attempted to perpetuate their species. Other viewers didn't seem to catch what we saw, but other penguins did - they stood stock-still right behind the pair, transfixed. I took a picture with my cell phone and, wouldn't you know it, dropped it on a cement floor the next day, losing the photo and the phone both, but the memory still brings a smile to my face.

Mabel says …

My husband and I visited the new Steinhart Aquarium for the first time in March for my birthday. My favorite memory of that day is watching the many colorful schools of fish swim up and down and around in the tidal pool. They were endlessly changing patterns as they passed by our viewing window and as we looked down on them from the walkway above. That day's visit will continue to be pleasant memory. I look forward to the experience of visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Crystal says …

Watching my 4 year old as she was mesmerized by the jellyfish display. She just sat on the floor and observed. We gave her some paper and a pen and she tried to draw them!

Braid Kopling says …

I remember my first trip to the aquarium as a child. I was growing up in Phoenix, AZ and must have been about 9 years old. I fell in love that day with an enchanting azure world filled with alien seeming creatures that glided around in a world that was both peaceful and deadly. I remember going to the beach nearby and singing (yes, singing! lol) to the ocean that I would not forget what I had learned and promised the ocean- and myself- that I would be back one day. I still love the ocean and love that I can live only 20 minutes away from the roaring peaceful world I learned about many years ago.

Sheila A. M. says …

When I was a child, back in the 1960's, my parents visited Monterey and brought me back a dried seahorse from a gift shop there. I was fascinated that such an unusual creature once lived in the ocean, though somewhat saddened at its demise. As an adult visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it was exciting to see a tank of live seahorses galloping about in the water - just astonishing! Our visits to the aquarium have always been marked by this "Wow" sort of a feeling. We are excited to share this experience with our youngest daughter this summer, as she's decided she wants to be a marine biologist.

Angela Bald says …

I love going to the monterey bay aquarium, there is always something new and great to see when I go there. This would be such a great opportunity!

Michael Roberts says …

I actually have never been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but I do have wonderful memories of the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco. As a kid it was magical, and it feels the same now as an adult. I would love to start some early memories with my Grandson Kolton and myself at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Jennifer Kobler says …

We took my daughter there when she was just one-year-old and I know she loved the ocean life. I love the 'food' exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! And there food and dining areas 'practice what they preach'! We eat vegetarian at least once a week, if not more. We really try to eat local and only eat beef on special occasions. We would love to take her back to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I was just looking at pictures of us there this morning... I think she would get a lot more out of it now.

Richard says …

I have never been, so I cannot leave a specific comment about Monterey Bay Aquarium. The only aquarium I have been to, is the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Every couple of years, our school would do field trips to Chicago from where I lived in Wisconsin. It always was a wonderful experience that has stayed in my heart. What wonderfully unique and beautiful creatures I would see. I would love to re-experience the awe that I felt at those field trips when I was young.

Staci DeShasier says …

It was "Love at the Aquarium" a special Valentine's weekend evening event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 2003. It sounded like a fun weekend on the coast so I bought two tickets for my then boyfriend and I. Little did I know it would be one of the most romantic nights of my life which would include a Wedding Proposal. We arrived at the aquairum dressed to the nines and we ushered to the "Jellies" exhibit. The lights were turned down, and a romantic glow illuminated from the jellifish tanks and candle light at tables trhoughout the exhibit. We dined on fine wine, prime rib and roasted veggies while jazz saxaphone (my favorite) played in the background. Private and peacedful dinner was exquisite. We were then led into the main part of the Aquarium where we were invited to roam around as we pleased, free from crowds at this couples only event. Red and pink spot lights shone of the dance floor while a DJ spun romantic tunes. My "I don't dance" boyfriend even took me for a spin or two around the dancefoor. Chocolate and wine tastings were available on every floor and throughout our self-guided tour. We sat for a lecture regarding the mating habits of penguins, giggled and moved on to the "petting zoo" exhibit to pet some starfish. Then my guy led me up and elevator of sorts that took us to the very top of the shark tank. Unbenost to me, as I was looking down at the sharks deep in the water he was already down on one knee! The ring was beautiful, he was as handsome and charming as I had ever seen him, and he asked me to be his wife. I said "of course I will marry you" my heart was beating a million times a minute and the wine tasting was really stating to go to my head! We went back downstairs so he could use the mens room and while I sat on a bench waiting I was just bursting with excitement, I had to tell someone, anyone! Just a few momenents he came out and couldn't find me because I was in a crowd of woman all investigating my ring and jumping up and down with me. It was the most romantic day I had ever experienced and though we have had many romantic days since, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a special place where the love of my life asked me to be his forever. On our wedding day, my father presented us with a framed lithograph of the Aquarium mural that resides in Canary row. Two children later (and one on the way) our lives have changed in many ways but our cherished momento is proudly displayed in our home, always.

Hoam Lee says …

When the morning sun woke me up for another day of 5th grade. I jumped out of bed, got dressed in a spiffy and ran out the door to catch the bus. Today was the day the aquarium was going to come visit. My teacher had invited a mobile aquarium to come and teach us about marine life! I had never seen these sea creatures except through ink printed books. As the time drew near for my class to enter into a big truck trailer named the "Aquarium Mobile," I could barely hold my excitement in as the kids before us came out with jumbles of words and smiley faces. Finally, walking into the Aquarium Mobile, I became fascinated with the bright colored drawings of sea life, the marine biologist explaining the different creatures, and the live touchable tide pool. I touched my first anemone, and then it shot out poop. I grazed a real life ray and remember giggling at how cute it was. Now I'm 24, and still that memory and the thought of an aquarium makes me elated and in wide-eye wonder of a home and an environment so different from ours on the land.

Jennie Schultz says …

Got to see the sea otters!

susan t. says …

I believe in the power of healing waters & feel it's so important to experience how we are all connected by the ocean that brings us together as one on this planet. I have visited aquariums & swam with the fish on all the continents that sustain life & would love the opportunity to experience Monterey Bay Aquarium for the first time. Thank you for offering an opportunity to the community I now call home. I'm sure this will be an incredible experience for the lucky winner!

Nancy Curdts says …

I just love to sit in front of the kelp exhibit. I'm just mesmerized by the gentle movement. It is wonderfully meditative.

Ann Leach says …

My favorite memory at Monterey Aquarium happend 15 years ago on the observation deck.I wa there with my husand looking over the railing into the bay and I realized that I could see all the way to the bottom floor of the bay.Amazing, beautiful, enchanting and exciting.To be able to identify items in the bay off our coast.Something I had never experienced in my life.When I close my eyes today I can still see the beautiful seaweads,rock formations,starfish,sea cukes and more...What a lovely lifetime memory for me.Thank you Monterey Aquarium for being so involved with the ecology of California and being there for all people to learn and enjoy.

sharon Dennis says …

Took my daughter and Mother-in-Law to the aquarium and enjoyed the many fantastic exhibits. We especially loved the feeding time of the otters and feeding time in the kelp forest. Also, we enjoyed sitting outside with our meal and blissfully watching the ocean and sealife that were visible during that time. Monterey Bay Aquarium is a gem on the Northern Pacific coast of California that is offered to the public. A uniquely exquisite way to provide an education opportunity to the people who are fortunate enough to be able to visit.

Pam Saling says …

What if you haven't been there, should I make something up?? No but we would love to win and then be able to take my 4 year old daughter to then share the memories with you!

Priscilla says …

I love the aquarium. My favorite memory was a jelly fish exhibit. So amazing! I would't have see anything like this without the Monteray Museum. Thank you.

Sarah says …

Has anyone heard about the Whole Food Market that's being built in San Diego (Encinitas to be exact) where there are residential condos for sale on top of the Whole Food Market? How cool would that be to live in a condo above Whole Foods? Not to mention the location is 3 blocks from the beach! Sign me up! Check it out! www.pacificstation.net

Lauren C says …

My husband and I took our son to Monterey Bay Aquarium when he was younger and we had a great time. I was recently looking at the great pics we took as a family and with my son sittin with a penguin swimming behind his shoulder! We would love to go back again soon.

Lisa Flato says …

Two years ago we went on a family "baby moon", including myself, my husband and our son of 4 1/2 years of age, to the Aquarium. It was a perfect get a way to enjoy each others company before we became a foursome. The whole aquarium is magical to us, since we all are in awe of underwater life. We loved the quite solitude of watching the river otters frolic together, and to watch a sea otter in the ocean through the telescope on the pier. Actually, the otters in the ocean were engaging in the natural act of trying to make their own additions to their family. We told my son they were "playing" together, and truth be told...they were! Lots of undertones of human and animal sexuality on that trip kept arising, as would be appropriate as we were about to go through the birthing process ourselves with loads of questions and curiosities. However, our family favorite was the Sea Horse Exhibit. Favorite because of course the Daddy's are the birthers,and we all thought that was pretty special. We humans know the joke of course is if the males in our society were to birth the babies we would have been extinct long ago! I don't know that I believe this fully since I have known many strong and sensitive men in my life, but it still gets a giggle none the less. We cannot wait to take our now almost two year old daughter to the aquarium, and I know our son is looking forward to showing her the big tank with all the sea life(including sharks!) living in harmony. sincerely, Lisa Flato Petaluma, CA

Julie says …

The jellyfish are amazing. They are so graceful and mesmerizing to watch. Have not been to Monterey in years and will be in Carmel in August and plan to visit the Aquarium again. It's such a wonderful experience.

Vicki Mayster says …

I have a beautiful video on my camera of the magnificent, graceful, yet poisonous jellies -- the blues, oranges and whites of the jellies and the exhibit are stunning. I'm looking forward to going back to see them again.

Katherine Couture says …

My favorite Monterey Bay aquarium memory is with my daughter when she was a toddler. We use to live in Monterey County, and I use to take my daughter (first born) to the aquarium often. We'd go to watch them feed the sharks and all the fish, and the otters. After our first visit there, she would ask my husband and I to make up stories every night at bedtime and nap time, about our trip to the aquarium. We have very fond memories of the Monterey aquarium. We have moved further north now, but still when we have the opportunity I take guests to visit. I'd love to win two tickets to take my daughter there for her milestone birthday "25" coming up soon. Katherine

Gina Hyde says …

We love the Monterey Aquarium!!! We are a family of 4 and now days it is to expensive to just drive down there for a day of fun.We start saving up early in the year after having a Garage sale and saving up by walking to school rather using the care we able to go to the Aquarium. I grew up in Europe and this is by far the best Aquarium in the world. Can't wait to go again!!

Linda says …

Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to enjoy taking our grandchildren to the aquarium but hope to do so soon. We have heard about the many interesting things to enjoy there.

Charlotte Lesch says …

Last year, at age 60, I drove down to the Monterey Aquarium and was amazed at the displays of aquatic life. I was mezmerized by two sites in particular; the sea horses and the jelly fish. I never knew that the male seahorses give birth! They start off so tiny and depending on their species, can grow to the size of your hand. The dragon seahorses are amazing...just like dragons...and they glide so elegantly throught the water, with just 2 tiny wings on their back. One kept swimming over and eyeing me numerous times. I wasn't aware of his behavior until an employee and other individuals at the exhibit brought his "flirty nature" to my attention. I would like to see if his attention reoccurs, should I get to visit again. The jellyfish are quite intriging. They float down through the water, and then, sommersault themselves over and floating back to the top of the aquarium...only to do the stunt over and over again. It would help cardiac patients to lower their heart rate and blood pressure during recovery. I wish the aquarium had a free day, once a year. It is hard for many individuals to pay the entrance price. Thank you for your time and consideration, Charlotte Lesch

Jennifer Kenny says …

My favorite memory was of the jelly fish exhibit. I got some awesome pictures. I could have watched for hours....the gentle quiet sway was so beautiful and peaceful. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful place to visit. I can't wait to take my daughter there and share the wonder with her!

Teresa says …

Two memories: One for each of my children. My younger daughter - two at the time - was mezmerized by an exhibit about water; she used her wide-ranging imagination to discover how many different ways she could play with water. My older daughter - six at our visit - was thrilled to observe many tanks of sea horses at different ages from "just out of the pouch" on up to adulthood. She was intrigued with the idea that male seahorses took care of the young and kept asking, "Is that really true; does the daddy really keep the babies in HIS pouch?" We have fine pictures of them astride the giant seahorse statue.

Kelly Murphy says …

I love the tropical fish exhibits... it is amazing to see the vibrant colors of the various types of sea life. I can remember just standing and watching in awe of the beauty that lives in the oceans.

Amber says …

My favorite memory of the Monterey Bay Aquarium would have to go back about 25 years to when it was first opened. Our class went on a field trip when I was about 7 and it was truly a life changing experience! I still have memories of walking in and seeing the life sized whale compared to a school bus...it just blew my mind! (And still does!) I'm so greatful that I can share the Aquarium with my own kids now too and watch the wonder on their faces. I've spent many, many happy hours at the Aquarium, learning about our wonderful, amazingly diverse ocean. Thank you MBA!

Mark says …

My favorite memory is standing in front of one of their beautiful exhibit windows, pointing at a moray eel and singing "when the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie, ats a moray." The reason I loved this is because my teenage daughers thought I had gone crazy, and they were pretty embarrassed. As I told them later, "it's every father's job to embarrass his daughters at least once in their lives." Besides this, I have nothing but fond memories of our visit to such a beautiful place.

feebs says …

Many years ago my sons and I went to the Monteray Bay Aquiarium with our friend Stephan and saw the amazing jellyfish exibit... Afterwards we went to dinner to a sushi restaurant. It was a very difficult meal...

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