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Noah Rosen is living on the edge – and loving every moment

By LYNETTE BRASFIELD

Noah Rosen is Bree Burgess Rosen’s adult son. That’s an accomplishment in itself, as most Lagunans would agree. No doubt he was raised with a song (or quite a few) and a prayer.

Noah is also a proud alumnus of El Morro Elementary School, Thurston Middle School, and Orange Country School of the Arts Culinary Arts Conservatory. He’s currently studying at Johnson and Wales University in Providence RI, and he’ll graduate in 2019 with two degrees, in Culinary Arts and in Food and Beverage Entrepreneurship. 

In the meantime, you could say he’s living on the edge. 

Not to put too fine a point on it, the young blade has gone into the knife business. He’s started up a company called Forge to Table Knives, which is on the cutting edge of all things kitchen.

noah rosen noah tower

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Submitted photo

Noah Rosen loves his knives

Stu News asked Noah why he decided to take a stab at this particular product.

“Forge To Table Knives, which will be in its second year of production in October, came about as a result of passion and serendipity,” Rosen responds, his enthusiasm obvious. “In March of 2017, at the Housewares show in Chicago, I had the pleasure of meeting Carole, the daughter of a second generation knife maker. She and her family operate a small forge in southern China. 

“For years they produced only knives for local markets and chefs, but once she and her brother joined, they brought new ideas and began to produce Japanese style knives. With their skill and precision, honed by decades of training and apprenticeship, [I saw that] they offered some of the best handmade knives I had ever seen.”

(A samurai or two in Carole’s ancestral tree, one wonders?)

Adds Rosen, “At first my only goal was to get a knife for myself, but as we talked, I realized I could get amazing knives in the hands of students like me at prices unseen in the handmade knife world – also for home and professional cooks. 

“After that it was full steam ahead. From March to June, I was in near constant contact with Carole, and the forge, to design what would become the Forge To Table Chef Knife (Gyuto).”

noah rosen sunset

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No sunset clause when you buy Noah’s durable knives

Any way you slice it, this meeting was clearly serendipitous. The conversation sharpened Rosen’s desire to dice, pumped up his passion for paring, and honed his entrepreneurial spirit. 

Rosen explains some of the complexities involved in creating the sharpest tool in the kitchen drawer. 

“The best knife can hold an edge but still sharpens easily. It won’t rust too quickly. There must be a balance of ideal flexibility and thickness of the blade. Then there’s the handle. Japanese style knives have different shapes and the best for every shape of hand out there, large or small, is the octagonal style. It provides a better grip and equally suited for right or left handed use. 

“All of these factors help determine the exact specs of all my knives,” he adds.

Then Rosen gets technical – so I’m just going to cut to the chase. In summary, Rosen says that Forge to Table Knives represent all the factors important in a knife – its blade and handle. 

And here’s a riddle: When is a knife like a mattress? Answer: When it has a rosewood handle – which conforms, somewhat like a memory foam mattress (my bad analogy, not Rosen’s) to the shape of the body – the hand, in the case of a knife. 

noah rosen grapefruit

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Any way you slice it, Noah Rosen looks to have founded a very fruitful firm

Forge to Table Knives are stylish, too, Rosen tells me, and the photographs certainly prove his point.

“The hammered, blacksmith finish doesn’t just look good, along with the thin blade, it allows for an easy glide through anything you’re chopping, and eases release of food as well,” he adds.

(I’m just loving these expressions! I’d never pictured of food being released before. The thought makes me want to break out into an old Tom Jones song.)

Rosen is ready to make his mark

And how does Rosen aim to make his mark in the business?

“Through countless emails, WhatsApp messages, Skype, and samples back and forth, my dream became a reality,” he says, “and the forge went to work creating my design. This was the first knife they had ever sold in America, and as I have grown, so too has the forge! 

“The first two hundred and fifty knives took over five months to make. It was all hands on deck. 

“At first I just sold through word of mouth, then through ETSY and ForgeToTable.com. Soon I had also had shelf space in fantastic retail locations, Spice Merchants of Laguna Beach, STOCK Culinary Goods in Providence RI, and the Johnson and Wales Bookstore (don’t worry, knives in a bookstore is totally normal for a culinary school!) In six months, all 250 knives had sold! 

“Now, with more Gyutos in stock and a Petty (utility knife) and Sujihiki (slicing knife) in the works, I have expanded to sales on Amazon.com and presales right this moment on Kickstarter.” 

Rosen predicts Forge To Table will soon present more styles, more steels, and even other kitchen necessities, all right from the forge to the customer. 

Visit www.forgetotable.com to find out more about these sharp new products. 

A final comment: There’s no question in my mind that the brilliant Noah Rosen will have the edge when it comes to competition. He’s a man of steel, that much is clear, and I don’t see too much Kryptonite in his future – just happy customers as he strives to ensure his company is a cut above all the others in the business.


Wily coyotes hide in plain sight

Wily Coyotes

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Courtesy of LCF

Wily yes, but not the Wile E variety. Can you spot the coyotes?


Tree Removal Ordinance will be effective July 26

The City of Laguna Beach recently adopted a Tree Removal Ordinance to establish protection of the urban forest in the City by requiring a permit be issued before the removal of private trees in three categories. This ordinance is in effect starting Thursday, July 26, 2018. 

You need a permit to remove a tree if it falls within any of the three categories below:

Category I: Heritage trees. Do you have a designated Heritage tree on your property that you are considering removing? 

Category II: Design Review approved trees. Are the trees on your property part of a landscape plan approved through the Design Review process and you would like to remove and replace some of the trees? 

tree removal street

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Tree Removal Permits are required prior to the removal of certain trees

Category III: Trees privately maintained in the public right of way. Is there a tree in the public right of way adjacent to your property that you maintain and would like to replace? 

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you need to obtain a Tree Removal Permit from the Laguna Beach Department of Community Development prior to removal of the tree. The ordinance establishes fines and penalties in the event that trees are removed without first obtaining a permit. The fines increase substantially with tree size, Heritage tree designation and number of violations within a 12-month period.

The ordinance also recognizes the importance of sustaining Laguna’s urban forest, so replanting the tree identified for removal with a suitable replacement tree is a requirement of the permit process. 

If you are unsure if your tree requires a permit for removal or for more information on the tree removal permit process, see the Tree Removal Permit page on the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/trp or stop by the Community Development desk located at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave.


Vacation Bible School starts August 6 at LBUMC

Laguna Beach United Methodist Church’s annual Vacation Bible School (VBS) program starts Monday, Aug 6 and continues through Friday, Aug 10.

VBS is open to youngsters from age one to those who’ve completed fifth grade, and will be held between 9 a.m. and noon at the church, 21632 Wesley Drive, up the hill from Gelson’s Shopping Center. 

Vacation Bible School graphic

Advanced registration is $50 for the first child in a family, $40 for each sibling. The cost for the first child will rise to $70 on August 6, but will remain at $40 for each sibling.  Each child receives a T-shirt. 

To sign up, go to www.lbumc.org or contact the church at (949) 499-3088.

The theme this year is Rolling River Rampage. 

“We’ll experience the ride of a lifetime with God,” says Jen Kucera Rothman, director of Children and Youth Ministries at LBUMC. “We’re preparing to guide the children on a fun trip right here on the church grounds!

“We’re also looking for older children to be volunteer helpers,” she adds.


Better than Netflix?

Photos by Tom Berndt

Better than Netflix

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Families get together in Laguna for some healthy viewing

Better than sunset

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Their patience is rewarded as the sun sets the sky aflame above the palm trees


CAP receives grant from FOA Foundation for upcoming Naturescape exhibit

Community Art Project (CAP) is pleased to be one of the recipients of a Festival of Arts Foundation grant. Funds from the grant will be used to help defray framing costs for students of the Laguna College of Art + Design who will participate in the upcoming Naturescape exhibit.

Naturescape will run from October 6 to January 31, 2019 at The CAP Gallery.

This Festival of Arts Foundation grant is one of 23 grants awarded to various not-for-profit arts groups that serve Laguna Beach.

CAP Gallery Board

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(L–R) Jill Webb (Board Member, CAP), “Charlie” Ferrazzi (Vice President, CAP), Ann Haight (Secretary, CAP), John Campbell (Vice President, FOAF), Faye Baglin (Treasurer, CAP), Laura Mayo (President, CAP), Scott Moore (President, FOAF), Jacquie Moffett (Secretary, FOAF), and John Rayment (FOAF Founder & Director)

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of Art and serve as a catalyst for Art Education. CAP provides ongoing exhibition in The CAP Gallery, in the Rotunda Gallery space located on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Avenue. The CAP Gallery is a unique space for juried, solo and retrospective exhibitions. 

For more information, visit www.caplaguna.org.


Bluebird Park concert is once again fun for all ages: Check out Scott’s gallery

Photos by Scott Brashier

bluebird park crowd

bluebird park band

bluebird park kids

bluebird park picnic

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Click on photos below to see 12 more of Scott’s great shots


Political notebook banner

Christoph kicks off her campaign: Supporters turn out and mingle in a water-friendly garden

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Landscape architect Ann Christoph kicked off her run for a second (though not consecutive) term on the City Council on Sunday at a fundraiser held in a water-friendly garden she could well have designed herself for Cindy and Mark Evans.

About 120 of Christoph’s supporters turned out for the fundraiser and to hear her reasons for running 20 years after her first term.

“People have asked me: Are you crazy?” she said. “Why are you running for the council?” 

She joked, “Really because if I am going to sit there all night, I want to talk more than two minutes.”

Christoph portrait

Submitted photo

Ann Christoph

Christoph regularly attends council meetings to speak during Public Communication, limited to items not on agenda, or during the public input on agenda items. If it’s the urban forest, she is there. If it is about the Village Entrance project, she is there. The Downtown Specific Plan revisions? Yep. Preservation of houses that contribute to the nebulous Village Laguna character? You bet. Protection for the ocean and tide pools? No doubt. The South Laguna Community Garden? Of course. Perceived abuse of South Laguna? Indeed. The use and varied results of outside consultants? Absolutely. 

Actually, Christoph confided, the impetus to run came from friends such as Ray Pierson, who gave her a $100 contribution before she had agreed to run; Arnold Hano, who said her time had come again; and her belief that she can channel the community spirit into accomplishing great things.

She is not the only believer.

Former Councilman Bob Gentry sent a note from Hawaii praising Christoph, with whom he served on the council from 1990 to 1994.

“Ann is a dedicated leader, a person who acts on her beliefs,” wrote Gentry. The time is right for Ann to return to the council.”

Iseman joins Hano and Gentry in praising Christoph

Councilwoman Toni Iseman, who is on the cusp of deciding whether or not to seek an unprecedented sixth consecutive term on the council, also unable to attend the fundraiser, sent a note: “Ann Christoph has been an environmental leader in Laguna for over 30 years. She’s worked tirelessly to protect our natural beauty and priceless heritage. We have much to thank Ann for.”

Christoph pledged to try to change the current negative and angry tone of politics. 

“We need to change that tone and the way to do it is to start from the bottom up, from our neighborhoods and our city, focusing on the specifics of what we can do and not what we are angry about,” said Christoph. 

She said anger should be replaced with creativity and enthusiasm. 

“As council member, I can make that happen – we [supporters] can make it happen together,” said Christoph. “The campaign won’t be easy, but it is an opportunity to come together as a community. Intense, pressured work together makes for long-lasting bonds that save mountains and build gardens. 

“Let’s do it.” 


Laguna Canyon Conservancy elected new officers at May 14 meeting – the next meeting is September 10

The Board of Directors of the Laguna Canyon Conservancy (LCC) elected its officers for the 2018-2019 year re-electing Gene Felder as President, and Robert Reed as Treasurer. The Board elected Harry Huggins as Vice-President, and Lorene Laguna as Secretary.

Laguna Canyon Conservancy

The LCC membership elected the Board of Directors at the May 14 LCC dinner meeting. Members also elected to the Board were Max Brown, Janine Robinson, Carey Strombotne, Kimberly Stuart, and President Emeritus Carolyn Wood. LCC President Gene Felder expressed thanks to Eva Hodjera, Trudy Josephson, and Sharon Larimer who will be leaving the Board, thanking them for their dedication and efforts to Save Laguna Canyon.

The Laguna Canyon Conservancy dinner meeting will resume Monday, Sept 10.

The LCC monthly dinner meeting no longer meets at Tivoli Terrace on the Festival of Arts grounds. The LCC dinner meetings are now at Seven 7 Seven (formerly Tivoli Too!) at the Art-A-Fair at 777 Laguna Canyon Road.

After twenty-eight years, the LCC Board has increased dues and dinner prices. Beginning in 2018, dues are $15 per person per calendar year. Dinner tickets are $15 for members, $20 for non-members and may be paid at the door with prior reservations. Doors open at 6 p.m. Space is limited.


Laguna Beach Farmers’ Market has it all – and now free giveaways also this Saturday, July 28

LB Farmers’ Market has everything from soup to nuts (literally, we think, although we could be wrong about the soup). Farm fresh eggs, flowers, fresh honey from a local farm, cheeses, bread, spreads, every vegetable and fruit you can think of, and made to order crepes, empanadas and other yummy food to eat on the spot or take to the beach. The list is endless. You get samples of much of it too!

Laguna Beach fruit at market

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Endless varieties of produce available at market

The Ballesteros Group is now one of the co-sponsors (along with Mamas OC Food Services) for the LB Farmers Market. Their goal is to provide massive exposure for the market and all of the vendors through word of mouth and social media. 

This Saturday, July 28, they will be handing out reusable grocery bags and waters to those who attend the market. Residents and visitors may also notice a banner in front of the market on Friday to remind everyone about the following day.

Laguna Beach eggs

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Lots of farm fresh eggs

Farmers’ Market sets up shop at #12 Lumberyard parking lot (across from The Festival of the Arts) every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Rain or shine.

Best one stop shopping anywhere! And some of it is organic. They even have Paleo and Gluten free baked goods.

On Tuesday, July 31, look for Stu News coverage of the July 28 give-a-ways along with its history and a current rundown of the Farmers’ Market vendors and their products.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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