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Welcome to our TomatoFest News & Media page. We have provided for you here updated information a review of TomatoFest news, press releases, events and soon to be...our own blog of seasonal activities with the growing and harvesting of heirloom tomato seeds.

Latest "News:"

January 2019 Tomato gardeners can now reduce costs and enjoy the spectacular colors and flavors of larger-fruited varieties previously only available by growing tall, indeterminate heirloom tomatoes.
Read article here: TomatoFest Releases 24 Prized Dwarf Tomato Varieties For Space-Challenged Gardeners.

January 24, 2019 Anthony Bourdain inspires new tomato from TomatoFest.

January 8, 2019 Announcing name change of "Anthony Bourdain" tomato to "Anthony's Passionate Heart" tomato.

December 26, 2018 Announcing release of the "Anthony Bourdain" tomato.

December 2018 Seeds of a Life and a Love Story: Monterey Herald, December 26,2018.

January 2016 "We are thrilled for being recognized by Google for meeting their standard of excellence for online shoppers," said Dagma Lacey and Gary Ibsen, owners of
See full press release here!

November 1, 2013 - We completed drying, and packaging inventory of more than 600 varieties of heirloom tomato seeds including some impressive new varieties of heirloom tomatoes. We successfully included these varieties in our seed trials sent to us from gardeners and seed-savers from the U.S. Europe and Russia. We will introduce these tomato varieties in our TomatoFest Annual Heirloom Tomato Seed Sale.

September-October 2013 - With Gary back in the tomato fields (vineyards) we were able to complete a very successful tomato seed harvesting. We were even able to complete our harvesting before the rains hit and the temps plummeted. This year we had exceptional fruit harvested. The volume of seeds we were able to extract from our many tomato varieties dramatically increased over the past few years.

December, 2009 - TomatoFest Heirloom Tomato Seeds and operations move from 35 years in Carmel, California to the Mendocino, California region. (6 hours drive north, along the Pacific Ocean). Our TomatoFest Farm and organic growing operations remain in Central California where the weather conditions and organic soil is ideal for growing heirloom tomatoes.

September, 14, 2008 - Gary Ibsen, Founder of the Carmel TomatoFest, announces his retirement as Director of the Carmel Tomatofest and retirement of the Carmel TomatoFest event itself.

July 19, 2007 - The Carmel TomatoFest will be presented by Bert Cutino, past Chairman of the AAC, at the 2007 American Culinary Federation National Convention, July 21-24 in Orlando, Florida. During the convention, The American Academy of Chefs (AAC), the honor society of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), will induct Tracy Griffith, sushi chef (and our Miss Hot Tomato) into the AAC as an Honorary Fellow during a formal ceremony and dinner. Honorary AAC Fellows are exemplary culinarians or foodservice industry partners who have dedicated many years of service to the promotion of the culinary profession, the ACF and the American Culinary Federation Foundation. Griffith was one of only six individuals inducted this year. In addition, she was given an ACF honorary membership.

July 16, 2007 - Gary Ibsen announced the 2007 TomatoFest Hall of Fame Award winners. The TomatoFest "Hall of Fame," is an awards program designed to recognize persons who have consistently demonstrated excellence in their field. These are persons who have contributed greatly to the success of the Carmel TomatoFest and the resurgence, bio-diversity and sustainability of heirloom tomatoes and other foods. They are culinary artists committed to quality, healthful living and innovation. They are specialty food producers, farmers, journalists, authors, educators, members of the hospitality industry and persons in public service who are dedicated to enhancing the quality and healthfulness of our lives.


This year we honor seven (7) chefs for their outstanding culinary creations featuring heirloom tomatoes.

Beat Giger, CEC, AAC Director of Special Events/Corporate Chef, Pebble Beach Resorts, Pebble beach, CA
Craig von Foerster, Executive Chef, Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, CA
Peter Pahk, Executive Chef, The Royal Oak at Silverado Resort, Napa, CA
Jeff Rogers, Executive Chef, Quail Lodge Golf Club & Resort, Carmel, CA
Luis Solano, Executive Chef, The Whole Enchilada, Moss Landing, CA
Ted Walter, Chef/Co-Owner, Passionfish, Pacific Grove, CA
Rick Edge, Executive Chef, Culinary Center of Monterey, Monterey, CA

Educator of the Year:

Honoring an educator who exceptionally communicates a knowledge of food, culinary studies or healthy gardening practices to benefit children and/or the community-at-large.

Laurie Fannin, Garden Coordinator/ Instructor, Carmel River School Children's Garden & Life Lab, Carmel, CA.


Honoring persons who have demonstrated overall excellence in reporting, writing, editing in all media, magazine & newspaper food section design and content. In honoring a publication we honor the effectiveness with which the reporting, writing, editing and design are united to attract reader attention and provide the reader entertaining, useful information for better living.

Katie Tamony, Editor-In-Chief, Sunset magazine, Menlo Park, CA


Honoring persons and farms that demonstrate integrity, leadership in healthy food production practices, inter-active community service, and support crop diversity and organic sustainability.

Myra & Drew Goodman, Co-Founders, Earthbound Farm, Carmel, CA.