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edible Monterey Bay Summer 2015

www.ediblemontereybay.com 11 his grandmother’s restaurant near the base of the Pyramids in Chichen Itza. From there, he came to California and worked in San Francisco, gaining experience in sushi, Thai food, California cuisine and the Italian flavors of North Beach. After cooking at Ventana Inn, he took over the kitchen at Deetjen’s. “In some ways, we are cooking for people the way they used to,” says Santamaria. “The produce is delivered from local farms, the grassfed beef grazed in this area and the fish is fresh from the bay. When people ask what fish we’re serving for dinner, we say we’ll have to wait till the fishermen come in from the water.” Dinner, served from 6–8:30pm, might begin with a fresh arugula salad with heirloom tomatoes, drizzled with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette. The entrée may be sautéed cod or rigatoni pasta with shrimp, or perhaps the braised pork chop, medium, but totally tender. Dessert might be a warm, crumbly fruit crisp with housemade ice cream. In the morning, sunlight streams through spaces between the curtains, ushering guests in to a home-style breakfast at the inn—and the chance to sit down, to eat and to linger. Local residents Clovis Harrod and Grady Cook often start their day with breakfast at Deetjen’s. The setting, the service and the price make it both nostalgic and affordable. Harrod worked there for a dozen years, doing décor—mostly anything that required a needle and thread—but now she just goes for memories and a good meal. “Everyone who works for Deetjen’s is an innkeeper,” says Harrod. “Everyone who comes here takes care of it. That’s just how it is.” Deetjen’s 48865 Hwy. 1, Big Sur 831.667.2377 • www.deetjens.com Lisa Crawford Watson lives with her family on the Monterey Peninsula, where she is a freelance writer and an instructor of writing and journalism at California State University Monterey Bay and Monterey Peninsula College. Chef Domingo Santamaria


edible Monterey Bay Summer 2015
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