The 'Salad Bowl' of America

I get to travel to so many unbelievable locations for Beach Bites, but every once in a while, one of them captures my heart.  Our entire crew fell in love with Monterey and Carmel, California. It’s so incredibly beautiful there and the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway is magical.  The area is surrounded by farms (someone told me it is referred to as the “salad bowl” of America, so you know that’s right up my alley), vineyards, and of course, the sea.  I was picking up every real estate magazine in town, dreaming about retiring there one day. In many ways, it reminded me of a west coast version of the Hamptons.  

We stayed in a cute little, updated motel called the Hotel Carmel, which is in walking distance to town and the beach.  The courtyard had an outdoor fire pit and we would sit around the fire with a bottle of wine each evening after work (it’s hard to call this job work!!). 

Here are some of the highlights and there will be much more on Thursday’s episode of Beach Bites (Cooking Channel 10 pm EST/7PM PST).  Thank you for watching and for all of your support.

Host Katie Lee reacts as she tastes an almond croissant from Patisserie chef and owner Yann Lusseau at the Parker-Lusseau French Bakery.jpeg

Start the day with an almond croissant at Parker-Lessau Bakery in Monterey. This bakery looked like it could be in the French countryside.  Perfection!

Host Katie Lee enjoys a traditional Cioppino seafood stew at Massaro & Santos.jpeg

No trip to the area would be complete without a bowl of cioppino, a stew of local crab, fish, and clams in a tomato broth.

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Casanova is an iconic restaurant in Carmel.  I enjoyed getting to know the father/son team behind it and all of the food is from the area. Their wine cellar has over 33,000 bottles of wine.   


Y’all know I am pizza-obsessed.  It’s pretty tough to beat the pies and the view at the Tricycle Pizza truck at Lovers Point.

Katie Lee filming in Carmel

Filming at sunset on the beach in Carmel was something I’ll always remember.  Our local production assistant, Christian, took us to his father Pepe’s Carmel Bakery first for caramel apples.  I took it down to the beach for a front row seat at nature’s greatest show.