The upcoming Cool Davis Festival on October 13 wl brought together four passionate expert presenters in a special demonstration booth to show visitors how they can integrate low-carbon solutions into their daily lives.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make sustainable sushi, create homemade gifts of scrubs and salts, clean your house without using toxics, or need ideas for how to cook from your CSA basket?  The festival offered the demonstration to answer your curiosity.

Sithu Tun, the friendly Mermaid Sushi Chef at the Davis Food Co-op, believes sushi must be made with fresh, wholesome vegetables, seasoning rice vinegar without high fructose corn-syrup, and only sustainable seafood as identified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. He offers a variety of choices including sushi made from brown rice which is more nutritious and vegetarian sushi for those who want to spare the fish.

“I make sushi very healthy and with sustainable fish,” says Sithu enthusiastically. One reason for his commitment is obvious as he beams at his two young daughters. “This one wants to be a marine biology teacher,” he says proudly.

She chimes in earnestly, “We have to keep the oceans clean so the fish can live and also not be caught in huge nets.” Sithu loves to show people how to make sushi as his contribution to a healthier future. Thanks to the Davis Food Co-op, visitors tasted Sithu’s freshly-made sushi.

Improve your health, save money, and lower your carbon footprint

Lisa Baker really likes sharing her recipes for green cleaning supplies and personal care products with others. She says giving demonstrations is one way of giving something back to the community.

“Watching the demonstrations is a great way to find out how simple and cost effective it is to do the “green thing.”

“Watching the demonstrations is a great way to find out how simple and cost effective it is to do the “green thing.” It is good for your health and your pocketbook, while also lowering your carbon footprint. And who wouldn’t like to be able to do that?” Visitors who watched Lisa took home two green cleaning and two personal care recipes.

How to cook from a CSA box
Debra Chase’s Pheasant Hollow Farm places simplicity at the core of everything they do. They know that well-prepared food made from honest ingredients speaks for itself, so they focus on providing memorable healthy meals. They support local artisans, farms and ranches, using the best possible seasonal ingredients.

Debra is a pro at teaching cooking skills so that others can prepare simple and delicious meals. At the festival, she demonstrated how to prepare dishes from a CSA box full of vegetables and fruits from several local farms without using electricity. The samples were  delicious.

Debra suggests, “The more people pay attention to where their food comes from, making conscious choices about what they eat and then preparing their own food, the less waste there will be. Less waste means less carbon in the atmosphere. The fewer miles a person and their food travel, the less carbon that is put into the atmosphere.”

“I believe the closer people come to agriculture, i.e. the raising of their fruit and vegetables and grains, the closer they will come to honoring and respecting our earth.”

Tony Gruska enjoys creating unique dishes from the constantly changing fresh produce from Fiddlers farm.

Unique dishes from seasonal produce
Rhonda and Tony Gruska of Monticello Seasonal Cuisine have a similar philosophy at their Farm-to-Table Restaurant. They model a low carbon footprint in every aspect of their restaurant from their choice of local, organic, sustainable ingredients, many from their own farm, Jim’s Fiddlers Green, to their care in recycling nearly everything.

They even send their food scraps to feed the chickens who supply their eggs. They have chosen environmentally friendly cleaning products and soap, energy efficient lighting, no VOC paints, cork floors, great insulation, and energy efficient hand dryers and kitchen equipment. Rhonda reports, “Our energy use is about ¼ of the previous restaurant.”

Festival visitors can watch a talented chef preparing dishes using seasonal ingredients at this transition time between summer and fall. Tony created unique dishes from the most beautiful and flavorful seasonal produce of Yolo County and passed out samples.

Davisites are fortunate to live in a community with so many gifted teachers and chefs willing to demonstrate and share samples at the festival.

Festival Demonstrations Included:

Sithu Tun of Mermaid Sushi at the Davis Food Co-op: How to make sushi

Lisa Baker:  green cleaning supplies:     soft scrub and surface cleaner

Lisa Baker:  personal care products:      sugar scrub and  bath salts

Debra Chase of Pheasant Hollow Farm presented:
Un-Cooking your CSA Box – 3 Simple meals prepared without heat

Tony and Rhonda Gruska presented:
a series of seasonal vegetable and fruit dishes