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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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October 2, 2012

Savor the Central Coast

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending an event put on by Sunset Magazine, 'Savor the Central Coast'.  It was held in Santa Margarita at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch in San Luis Obispo county.  The San Luis Obispo area is one of my favorite places to visit. It's beautiful, surrounded by hills and close to the coast, it actually reminds me of home, here in northern California but with a much slower pace, I think that's why I'm so drawn to it, so any chance to visit the area, I'm there.

Savor is in its third year and it's an event where you can sample wine from over 100 area wineries, food from local restaurants and farmers, take in a demonstration from one of the celebrity chefs that were scheduled to appear, wine and food seminars straight from the central coast growers, or maybe relax in the beer garden.  Many things to taste and experiment over this four day event.

I attended one day and this is how I spent it....

Walking in, you receive a shopping bag, your wine glass and an event program.

The celebrity chef seminars where held in this beautiful historic barn.

Here they are setting up for Food Network's Aarti Sequira.

I was able to attend a media Q & A with celeb chefs, Susan Fenigar of Mandalay Bay and Aarti Sequira of Food Network, moderated by Sunset Magazine's Editor, Kitty Morgan.

I must say, Aarti is absolutely adorable in person.  If you enjoy her personality on TV, know that she is just the same in person.

The last question of the Q & A.....'if you had only five spices to choose from to stock your pantry, what would they be?'

Between both chefs, some of the spices included; tumeric, cumin, black pepper, ginger, chili pepper and cinnamon sticks.

After the Q & A I decided to see what was happening at the wine tasting area.  It happened to be 98 degrees outside over the weekend and I'm normally a big wine drinker, but not in this kind of heat.  I did manage to try a few ports though.

The port was paired with some delicious hard cheese; sheep, cow and a combined sheep and cow cheese, which happened to be my favorite.

My favorite Port was from Roxo Port Cellars out of Paso Robles.  Next trip to SLO, I'm visiting their cellars for sure.

On my way over to the pavilion, I stopped to listen and learn all about olive oil tasting and tips on quality of fresh olive oil by Joeli Yagunda, Founder of Pasolivo Olive Oil.  This is the tent area, Farmers' Market to Meal, where you could meet the Central Coast farmers and chefs and learn a little about how they farm and hear techniques on anything from cheese making, canning to seasonal cooking.

The next stop was the Central Coast Pavilion for some tasty food..

Strawberry Lime Parfait.  The good people of Mandalay Bay had put together this very refreshing parfait.

The parfait was paired with Kiona 2009 Chenin Blanc Ice Wine.

Then over to the Big Sky Cafe booth where they were serving Grilled Turkish Leg of Lamb on flatbread.......

Made with fresh local ingredients, arugula and tahini yogurt dressing.

I did spend some time at Morro Bay oysters....he couldn't shuck them fast enough.

Walking back outside, I heard the band start up and I was immediately drawn over to the Beer Garden where they had a great lawn area with picnic tables, beer and more food booths and a little bit of shade.

Some lager from Tap It Brewing Co. and chocolate cake from Madonna Inn hit the spot in the heat of the day. 

I spent a good part of the afternoon here, a great place to hang out people watching, eating and drinking all while listening to music.

After the chocolate cake sugar rush, I was craving some meat.  The Harris Ranch tent was calling my name with their grilled ribeye steak and tomato-basil bruschetta sandwich.

I have the recipe....I'll be making this one at home.  SO flavorful.

There were so many good bites to choose from, I just wish I had had a bigger appetite!

The Bay Shrimp with mango salsa was also a favorite of mine, very refreshing and so very fresh tasting.

It was getting close to the end of the day and I needed to make a decision on what my last two experiences would be.  I can see why the Main Event is a two day affair, you definitely need two days to take it all in.

I couldn't possibly go to a Sunset Magazine event without seeing some very unique gardening ideas...

And my last sight of the afternoon was riding this 115 year old original Disneyland Coach that took you around the historic ranch for a 15 minute tour.

A perfect way to end my first time experience at Sunset's Savor the Central Coast.

My Savor ticket was complementary but this, in no way swayed my opinions regarding the event.
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1 comment:

Suz and Allan said...

Looks like a great weekend all around!