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Posts Tagged: Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science

Have a Few Crickets With Your K├Âlsch

These things go together:

Ham and eggs, macaroni and cheese, and beer and bugs.

Beer and bugs? Definitely! Haven't you ever had a few crickets with your Kölsch?

Well, you will if you attend the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science's event, "Bugs and Beer—Why Crickets and Kölsch Might Be Matches Made in Heaven," set from 2 to 6  p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1 in the RMI's Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theatre on Old Davis Road, UC Davis campus.

Crickets? It's what's for dinner. And more. 

UC Davis Professor Charles Bamforth, aka “The Pope of Foam,” will team with David George Gordon, aka "The Bug Chef," to create eight different insect-inspired creations for the ultimate tasting experience, says spokesperson and administrative assistant Elizabeth Luu. It was her idea--and a fine one at that!--to launch the event. 

The RMI "has been a hotspot for famous chefs, wine and beer pairings, and cutting-edge research for all things gastronomic," Luu says. "The Institute places itself in the forefront of the entomophagy—'bugs as food' movement by providing an informational but entertaining dining experience for the curious consumer."

Eighty percent of the world consumes insects as a protein source, Luu points out. "As the world's population continues to grow exponentially, there is more need than ever for an alternative protein source."

Indeed. We prefer our honey bees in hives or photographs but people in many parts of the world, including Africa and Asia, eat brood comb. They consider it a delicacy. 

Drone pupae, some beekeepers say in The Bee Source forum, are delicious, especially drizzled with a little honey. Bon appétit!

The UC Davis event will demonstrate various, innovative and creative uses for insects as a food source. You'll hear short lectures followed by tastings led by Bamforth and Gordon. Bamforth, by the way, is the distinguished Anheuser-Busch Endowed professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis, and Gordon is a celebrity chef and the award-winning author of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook.

Tickets are $50 for the general public and $25 for students.  Here's what else is good about the event: A portion of the proceeds will go to the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology to fund teaching and research. 

To register, visit the RMI website. For additional information, contact Elizabeth Luu at luu@caes.ucdavis.edu or at (530) 754-6349.

RMI was made possible through the generous donation of $25 million from Robert Mondavi in 2001. The institute, involved in research, education and outreach, is comprised of two departments: Viticulture and Enology and Food Science and Technology. 

Would you eat  honey bee larvae? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Would you eat honey bee larvae? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Would you eat honey bee larvae? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wax moth larvae: good source of protein? And throw in a few small hive beetles for good measure? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Wax moth larvae: good source of protein? And throw in a few small hive beetles for good measure? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wax moth larvae: good source of protein? And throw in a few small hive beetles for good measure?(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 5:36 PM

The Good Life

Okra. You either love it or hate.

If you hate it, it's probably because of its characteristic "slime" that it produces. It's a mucilaginous plant. If you love it-- absolutely love it--you may be from the Deep South, where okra is king. They bread the slender green pods and deep-fry them. And they pickle them. It's also a key ingredient in gumbo.

Indeed, it's a vegetable rich in Vitamin C, fiber and potassium.

But if you're a garden spider living in the Good Life Garden at the University of California, Davis, you depend on the tall okra plants to weave your web and trap insects. Then you can spin them around, wrap them tighter than a ball of string, and feast on them later.

The Good Life Garden is located behind the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science on Old Davis Road. It's a well-cared for garden chock full of fruits, vegetables, herbs and ornamentals.

And predators and prey.

Its aim, according to its website, is "to educate the public on how to buy and plant seasonal vegetables for the best taste and highest nutritional content. Each season the garden's planting list will be available online along with information on how to grow, harvest, buy, and cook the various plants, herbs, and fruits found in the garden."

The garden is aptly named. The Good Life.

Good for people, predators and prey. 

And photographers.

A garden spider wraps its prey, a honey bee, in The Good Life Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A garden spider wraps its prey, a honey bee, in The Good Life Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A garden spider wraps its prey, a honey bee, in The Good Life Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

Garden spider struggles with its prey, a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Garden spider struggles with its prey, a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Garden spider struggles with its prey, a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, September 26, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Debut Event of UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center

Neal Williams
If you want to know more about honey and pollination, then mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 27. That's the date of the debut event of the newly established Honey and Pollination Center of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (RMI).

The event, themed "The Bounty of Pollination, More Than Just Honey," will take place from 1 to 5:30 p.m. in the RMI's Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theatre, UC Davis. Keynote speakers are winning cinematographer, director and producer Louie Schwartzberg whose film “The Beauty of Pollination” has resulted in more than 23 million views on YouTube; and pollination ecologist Neal Williams, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology, who will discuss “Integrated Pollination Strategies: Managed and Wild Bees for a Sustainable Future."

Others speaking will include:

Amina Harris, executive director of the RMI Honey and Pollination Center and owner of Z Specialty Food, Woodland, who will cover “Honey Tastings Across America” 

--Victoria Wojcik, associate program manager of the San Francisco-based Pollinator Partnership, “The World of Pollinators” 

--Julie Loke, teaching kitchen educator at Davis Co-Op, “Varietal Honeys—Blending the Flavors in the Kitchen” 

Another attraction is the second annual "Best Honey" competition. Beekeepers can enter the competition by bringing a jar of honey (with business card and summary of the honey) to the RMI office on Wednesday, Oct. 24. There's no charge to enter. Those attending the conference will taste and judge the honey. 

RMI executive director Clare Hasler-Lewis said the newly established Honey and Pollination,  was approved earlier this year by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.  The vision is to “make UC Davis the nation’s leading authority on honey, honey bees and pollination by combining the resources and expertise of RMI and the Department of Entomology’s Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.”

The center’s mission is “to showcase the importance of honey and pollination to the well-being of the citizens of California. The center will spearhead and nucleate efforts to gain support and assembly teams for research, education and outreach programs for various stakeholder groups including the beekeeping industry, agricultural interests who depend on bee pollination, backyard beekeepers and the food industry."

The goals:

    • Expand research and education concerning nutrition, health, quality and appreciation of honey

    • Develop useful information for California’s agricultural bounty that depends on insect pollination

    • Help the honey industry establish labeling guidelines to guarantee pure and unadulterated varietal honey

    • Coordinate a multidisciplinary team of experts in honey production, pollination and bee health

    • Promote the use of locally procured honey in the home, food industry and restaurants.

For more information on the debut event and to register online see the RMI website  The contact person is Kim Bannister at kbannister@ucdavis.edu.

A frame of honey from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A frame of honey from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A frame of honey from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ready to greet visitors are RMI executive director Clare Hasler-Lewis (left) and event coordinator Tracy Dickinson. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ready to greet visitors are RMI executive director Clare Hasler-Lewis (left) and event coordinator Tracy Dickinson. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ready to greet visitors are RMI executive director Clare Hasler-Lewis (left) and event coordinator Tracy Dickinson. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

RMI executive director Clare Hasler-Lewis at the RMI's Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theatre. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
RMI executive director Clare Hasler-Lewis at the RMI's Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theatre. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

RMI executive director Clare Hasler-Lewis at the RMI's Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theatre. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM

A Taste of Honey

If you want to learn more about bees, honey and pollination, then you'll want to attend the debut event of the newly formed Honey and Pollination Center at the University of California, Davis.

Themed "Bounty of Pollination: More Than Just Honey," the event is set from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 in the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (RMI).

It's “an afternoon of lively discussions, unique tastings and interesting displays on the science behind honey and non-honeybee pollinators,” says RMI spokesperson Tracy Dickinson.

Clare Hasler-Lewis, executive director of RMI, and Ed Lewis, vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and faculty director of the Honey and Pollination Center, will welcome the crowd.

Among the speakers will be Amina Harris, owner of Z Specialty Foods, Woodland; Rebecca Ets-Hokin of the San Francisco Bay Area, certified culinary professional, who will discuss “Varietal Honeys—Blending the Flavors in the Kitchen”; and Neal Williams, UC Davis assistant professor of entomology, whose topic is “Integrated Pollination Strategies: Managed and Wild Bees for a Sustainable Future.”

Also planned is a best honey competition, a Pollinator Partnership activity, and a reception that will include tastings and best honey competition results.

The cost is $60 per person, with special discounts for UC faculty, staff and students. 

Folks attending will definitely walk away with a greater appreciation of honey bees and wild bees. 

And a greater appreciation of one of nature's most treasured treats--honey.

A frame of honey at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A frame of honey at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A frame of honey at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

A drone (male bee), distinguished by its large, wrap-around eyes and stouter body, mingles with his sisters. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A drone (male bee), distinguished by its large, wrap-around eyes and stouter body, mingles with his sisters. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A drone (male bee), distinguished by its large, wrap-around eyes and stouter body, mingles with his sisters. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM

The Bounty of Pollination

If you want to learn more about honey bees and other pollinators, then “The Bounty of Pollination: More Than Just Honey” is the place to “bee” on Saturday, Oct 27 at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (RMI), University of California, Davis.

This will be the "debut event" of the Honey and Pollination Center of RMI, according to event coordinator Tracy Dickinson.

The public event, to take place from 1 to 5:30 p.m. in RMI's Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater, is billed as “an afternoon of lively discusssions, unique tastings and interesting displays on the science behind honey and the important (and surprising) non-honey bee pollinators."

RMI is in the process of lining up speakers and displays.

Registration opens in August. The cost per ticket is $60, with discount prices offered for UC faculty, staff and students. The last day to register online is Friday, Oct. 26. 

UC faculty staff and students may obtain a coupon code for discounted tickets through tdickinson@ucdavis.edu.  Or, if folks want to become a Friend of the RMI, they need to contact Kim Bannister at kbannister@ucdavis.edu.

Honey bee heading toward tower of jewels (Echium wildpretii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee heading toward tower of jewels (Echium wildpretii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee heading toward tower of jewels (Echium wildpretii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Yellow-faced bumble bee (Bombus vosnesenskii) on tower of jewels. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Yellow-faced bumble bee (Bombus vosnesenskii) on tower of jewels. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Yellow-faced bumble bee (Bombus vosnesenskii) on tower of jewels. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 11:55 PM

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