Leah Di Bernardo has been a force in the Temecula Valley for years, as a caterer, an advocate for local, organic food and a leader in the local Slow Food movement. Her E.A.T. Marketplace is a restaurant, deli and smoothie/coffee bar offering creative, healthy items. It came as no surprise when she joined forces with Don Webber, who, with Harvest 2 U, provides farm-fresh food to hundreds of Temecula area residents.
Leah and Don share a similar mindset. They met when he was seeking cooler space for his produce. They clicked instantly. Together they support 26 local farmers and ranchers, three are in business solely based on Cultivating Good. “It’s about being very environmentally and socially responsible” says Don. He and Leah both are firm believers in education, so much so that they presented the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association a check for $150 for their Scholarship Fund. Both believe it’s critical to connect the farm to the family.
E.A.T. Marketplace is the brick and mortar of Cultivating Good. A central location that serves “good, clean and fair food.” Don refers to it as a “third place” with first being home and second work. He sees E.A.T. as a place to let your hair down and hang out with your friends. Chef Matt Cassell has been part of the team for about a month now. He comes aboard following stops at Temecula Creek Inn, Gordon Ramsay’s London Hotel and Mario Batali’s Il Posto in New York, Daniel Bolud and the Ritz-Carlton. He’s proud to be a part of this team and says he’s never seen anything like Leah’s passion or the extraordinary produce. “The farmers come in the back door with dirt still on their hands.” It just doesn’t get any fresher. The culinary team takes field trips to farms, not just locally, but around the country. They call what they serve “beyond organic.” Former Chef Kevin Grant has launched “krafted”, a line of specialty food items including charcuterie and preserves.
Harvest 2 U and the newly launched E.A.T.@Home are both subscription programs. Harvest 2 U delivers fresh, organic produce (usually picked within 36 hours of delivery) weekly or bi-weekly. Each delivery comes with recipes for the items in the shipment. E.A.T.@Home offers several different options of lunch and dinner deliveries as well as two fitness packages.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701! Ask about special discounts.