Sunday, July 21, 2024

Grub on Some Purple Sea Urchin at This Year’s Mendocino Unifest from June 16-18

The following is a press release issued by Koli Communications:

[Picture provided by Koli Communications]


Join chefs, educators, experts, and adventurous palates for all things purple sea urchin this summer as sustainability takes center stage. Long a major producer of sea urchin in the United States, Mendocino County celebrates this delicacy and its intertwined ocean existence with a host of events in coastal Fort Bragg including a sake and urchin seminar, ocean demonstration on harvesting, cleaning and opening fresh purple urchin and special packages including shore dives for this delectable delicacy.


June 16-18, 2023


Fort Bragg, Calif., multiple locations




Friday, June 16, 2023/7:00 PM

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Campfire chat with Dr. Kevin Smith of Catch n’ Cook on America’s indigenous peoples and the kelp highway; Free.

Van Damme State Beach, Fort Bragg, Calif.

Saturday, June 17, 2023/Morning Low Tide 6:00 AM

Follow Kevin Smith PhD, onto the rocks and into the shallows searching for urchin, turban snails and other tide pool treats. Keep your catch or learn how to prepare it at the evening meal.

Saturday, June 17, 2023/1:00 PM

Uni demo and educational talk at Van Damme State Beach, fresh uni tasting, harvest/open/clean demonstrations and interpretive talk on purple urchin impact/solutions on the ecosystem; Urchin provided by the Waterman’s Alliance; Triston McHush/Nature Conservancy; Free.

Van Damme State Beach, Fort Bragg, Calif.

Saturday, June 17, 2023/6:00 PM

All hail the Uni! Join Little River Inn’s Executive Chef Marc Dym and Master Sushi Chef Frank Takao for a prep-and-cook session followed by a five-course repast focused on the purple sea urchin in all its glory; Sake expert and educator Kerry Tamura will pair each course with sake and discuss the nuances of each. $250.00; Tickets: www.littleriverinn.com.

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Little River Inn, Little River, Calif.

Uni Adventures:

A variety of Mendocino restaurants are offering special Uni menus during this timeframe, from Uni Baked Oysters to Salmon with Champagne and Sea Urchin Beurre Blanc; various prices. Pull a seat up at Inn at Newport Ranch, KW Saltwater Café, Noyo Harbor Inn, Izakaya Gama, SIBO, VUE Kitchen and Wickson Restaurant. See full list: www.urchinfest.com.


A variety of hotels are offering package deals, uni menus, sea foraging and weekend value pricing including MacCallum House, Inn at Schoolhouse Creek, Elk Cove Inn, Inn at Newport Ranch and Noyo Harbor Inn. www.visitmendocino.com/see-do/deals-and-special-offers.

Little River Inn ups the ante with two new packages including guest accommodations, tide pooling/harvesting, a shore dive led by the Freedive Shop and fresh-from-the-sea urchin-focused repasts. This is a one-of-a-kind experience for those seeking and up-close-and-personal encounter with Mr. Uni; $2500++; www.urchinfest.com.

Interview Opportunities:

Representatives from the Waterman’s Alliance, Urchinomics, Noyo Science Center, Mendocino Area Parks Association, diving and harvesting experts and regional chefs/restaurateurs.

Open to the Public:

Noyo Center for Marine Science will be offering special programs at each location:

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Discovery Center Science Museum, 338 N. Main Street

Slack Tide Café, 32430 North Harbor Drive

Crow’s Nest Interpretive Center, South FB Coastal Trail;

Fort Bragg, Calif., www.noyocenter.org.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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