Courtesy Ocean Mist FarmsChef Curtis Stone, right, host of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Masters,” greets Ocean Mist Farms partner Hugo Tottino on a tour of Castroville, Calif., artichoke fields.Chef Curtis Stone, host of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Masters,” toured Castroville, Calif., fields where Ocean Mist Farms is producing its heirloom artichokes.
Peak volume for the crop is expected March through May.
Stone brought staff members from Maude – his Beverly Hills, Calif., restaurant – to help prepare their March menu. It will feature artichokes in all nine courses, according to a news release. The chef plans to write about the Feb. 24 visit on his blog.
For the three peak months, Ocean Mist Farms plans promotions that include retail display contests, radio ads in Northern California and social media contests featuring the hash tag #heirloomartichoke. There will also be custom point-of-sale materials, display bins and petal inserts.
The grower-shipper is planning emails – dubbed Arti-Alerts – for about 40,000 Artichoke Club members, informing them of discounts by retailers in their locations.
The same alerts will also be available through Ocean Mist social media channels – for 11,600 Facebook fans, among others.