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edible Monterey Bay Summer 2015

pounds of vegetables a day. “We need a supplier that we know and trust,” Carolyn says. “Lakeside is truly our partner.” The Rudolphs’ concerns about sourcing have taken them to Vancouver to visit their salmon supplier, Petaluma to see where their chicken is processed, Oakland to view their noodles being made and even to Thailand to meet their coconut milk source. “You need to acknowledge that there’s a person that’s picking and processing the food that you’re eating,” Carolyn stresses. “You need to understand that what you eat matters.” The other partner in Charlie Hong Kong is the community itself. “I think in terms of community,” Carolyn explains. “It’s about outreach and education.” A committed environmentalist, Carolyn has, for example, been thrilled to partner with Save Our Shores to educate other city councils on passing plastic bag ban ordinances, and in 2011 the group named Charlie Hong Kong the “Best Business of the Year.” 8 edible monterey bay Summer 2015 This is the way to change the American diet, she says—making good food accessible. “Charlie Hong Kong is about the basics— a place to nourish and feed yourself, without fuss or muss.” Rosie Parker is a writer, farmer and beer lover living in the mountains of Santa Cruz. A native New Englander, she misses snow days but is happy she can now grow lettuce in the winter. Charlie Hong Kong 1141 Soquel Avenue • 831.426.5664 www.charliehongkong.com EXPLORE: For our contributors’ picks for additional fast, healthful and delicious food outlets in our region, see our shortlist under the “LOCAL FOOD GUIDES” tab at www.ediblemontereybay.com. Also see our Dine Local Guide on p. 63. Other accolades, such as when the Go For Health! collaborative declared Charlie Hong Kong the “Healthiest Restaurant” in Santa Cruz, have given Carolyn the confidence to strengthen her platform and educate her community about how people can make a difference through the simple act of choosing to eat food that is good for the environment and good for people. “If we’re not looking at food justice, then we’re denying really what’s going on here. I’m very involved with that, and Charlie Hong Kong is a piece of that. Charlie Hong Kong stands for that.” To Carolyn and Rudy, food is medicine— their restaurant’s slogan is “Love Your Body. Eat Organic.” But for a lot of Charlie Hong Kong’s patrons, food is food. Carolyn knows this, and really doesn’t mind. “People are constantly coming up to me and saying, ‘I didn’t know you were organic’ or, ‘I didn’t know you were so healthy.’ My response is that that’s my job to take care of you. That’s the ethical thing to do.”


edible Monterey Bay Summer 2015
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