Savor the Central Coast
Let's go savor the flavors of the Central Coast, shall we?
Made with organic lamb and ingredients grown on the Thomas Hill farm. Husband-and-wife team Debbie and Joe Thomas run the ten-acre farm which now has 900 fruit and nut and trees, and they have a restaurant in Paso Robles called Thomas Hill Organics that features much of what's grown on the farm.
Buona Tavola, a Northern Italian restaurant with locations in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, layered a polenta crostini with a Windrose Farm heirloom tomato slice, and Allesina Finocchiona Salami. The arugula salad on the side was topped with Happy Acres Farm's goat cheese, roasted beets, and a grapefruit vinaigrette.
Central City Market in Santa Rosa made tacos with lamb from Superior Farms and topped them with a bright salsa made of yellow tomatoes and cucumbers.
Tortino di Caprino
The new Paso restaurant Il Cortile served this warm, soft souffle made with Happy Acres goat cheese with a honey fig sauce.
Pismo Beach restaurant Marisol at the Cliffs was grilling these beautiful just-caught Morro Bay Oysters, and they couldn't bring them out fast enough. Garnished with melted butter, some Chai cream ale (a locally made beer), red pepper flakes, and shaved parmesan. This could have been my favorite bite of the day.
Sweet Hot Almonds
Whole almonds in their skins with sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. These are quite addictive. From Paso Almonds, which also makes flour, biscotti, and brittle.
Pacific Coast Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado
From Root 246 in Solvang.
Boar ragu cavatelli
Housemade cavatelli from Artisan, a wonderful restaurant in downtown Paso Robles run by brother team Chris and Mike Kobayashi. I actually tried this dish at the restaurant a couple nights before but went back for this sample at the festival. It's that good.
Grilled abalone salad
A maple bar covered in bacon crumbles from SLO Donut Company in San Luis Obispo.
Mac and cheese
Brown Butter Cookies
Sprinkled with sea salt from Brown Butter Cookies in Cayucos. They were sampling the original brown butter flavor, cocoa, and our favorite, the bourbon.
Top sirloin with horseradish cream
From Far Western Tavern in Guadalupe.
From Pismo Beach's Cracked Crab.
Top sirloin with whiskey butter
This Harris Ranch steak was first rubbed with smoked salt and brownsugar then grilled on site and served with whiskey butter. For the full effect, we staged the photo on a cow hide.
There were plenty of wines and beers waiting to be poured into your Savor wine glass, but this refreshing, not too sweet olallieberry lemonade was a nice non-alcoholic sip. An olallie-whazit? The berry is two-thirds blackberry and one-third red raspberry and grown on the nearby Linn Farm, which also bakes killer olallieberry pie. They made this lemonade with Meyer lemons grown on the farm mixed with some of the berry's syrup.
Who doesn't love a giant olallieberry mascot named Olallie!
Cooking demos, including one with Food Network chef Cat Cora, took place in Santa Margarita ranch's historic barn.