Michelle Locke

Back Writer

Michelle is a Bay area-based freelance writer who reports frequently on wine, food and travel. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, and she is a wine and spirits columnist at palatepress.com.

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East Meets West

Indo Cafe spices up Old Sacramento’s food scene

New Yorkers Jim and Tessa traveled west from New York to California. They met up with friends in the capital who gave them a tour of Old Sac, pointed out Indo Cafe and mentioned casually that the owners were looking to sell. It was kismet.

May 18, 2015 Michelle Locke
(Shutterstock)

Drop by Drop

After 81 years, microdistillers are gaining ground against Prohibition-era laws

In a makeshift distillery tucked  into a Rancho Cordova business park, Greg Baughman mashes and ferments batches of his Wheel House American Dry Gin using a still he designed and built himself, a gleaming vision of stainless steel and copper. But actually sell you a bottle? For that he needs to hire a middleman due to regulatory hurdles dating back to Prohibition.

Dec 5, 2014 Michelle Locke
Cindy Garcia of the UC Davis Meat Lab

Killer Instincts

Butchery is finding a passionate female following

On a warm afternoon, soft spring winds are blowing across the campus at UC Davis. In a building on the university’s west corner, Cindy Garcia is hosing pools of blood down a drain. She places a pig skull on an inspection table, washes her hands and steps into the sunlight just as the parking lot is beginning to fill with shoppers toting grocery bags.

May 31, 2014 Michelle Locke
Wise Villa Winery

Wine Winner

How Dr. Grover Lee went from the pharmacy to the vineyard

Imagine you’re a successful businessman, but what you really want to be is a professional baseball player. You’re so sure of yourself that you begin spending nights and weekends studying and training as if Major League Baseball will soon be calling. And then they actually do, and at your first at-bat,  you clear the bases.

That’s pretty much how things happened when Granite Bay pharmacist Dr. Grover Lee decided to become an award-winning winemaker.

May 31, 2014 Michelle Locke
Sheana Davis, owner, The Epicurean Connection

Have Cheese Will Travel

A ‘choose your own adventure' map to NorCal's finest fromagers

In the past two decades, bucolic Sonoma and Marin counties have been at the center of a cheese renaissance that has seen the rise of dozens of artisan and farmstead products, including cheese made from the milk of sheep, goat and water buffalo. With nearly 30 cheesemakers and creameries opening their doors to visitors, exploring curd culture has never been easier.

Mar 1, 2014 Michelle Locke

Striking Oil

In Woodland, La Tourangelle cracks the nut oil market

Pulling up to the bland business park that is home to La Tourangelle’s nut oil bottling facility gives no indication of the nexus of culinary artistry housed inside.

But step through the doors and start talking to Matthieu Kohlmeyer, the energetic founder and CEO of the Woodland company, and you’ll discover that this quiet farming town is home to a vibrant French connection and a business that’s ridden the wave of consumer health trends and successfully plugged into the farm-to-fork movement.

Dec 1, 2013 Michelle Locke