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Cooking for Solutions

By Jennifer Lo, May 14, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Jennifer Lo

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!

Category: Seafood




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!
05/14/2011 7:39:31 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 9:59:06 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 10:04:46 AM CDT
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!
05/14/2011 10:06:18 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 10:07:27 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 10:11:54 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 10:15:08 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 10:17:05 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 10:20:44 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 10:26:12 AM CDT
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....
05/14/2011 10:46:04 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 11:15:35 AM CDT
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!
05/14/2011 11:25:10 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 11:38:28 AM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 12:11:09 PM CDT
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!
05/14/2011 12:32:08 PM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 12:37:44 PM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 12:37:50 PM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 12:49:55 PM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 1:15:52 PM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 1:27:25 PM CDT
Jennie Schultz says ...
Got to see the sea otters!
05/14/2011 1:37:31 PM CDT
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!
05/14/2011 2:01:56 PM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 3:06:32 PM CDT
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.
05/14/2011 3:30:15 PM CDT