This weekend at the Santa Margarita Ranch, an antique weathervane presides over a sprawling tent city where hundreds of local and regional food and wine professionals are introducing visitors to the flavors of the Central Coast.
The first Savor the Central Coast food and wine festival, hosted by Sunset magazine and the San Luis Obispo Visitors and Conference Bureau, features celebrity chef Tyler Florence, who cooked up a menu that included salmon, brussels sprouts and home-made chips.
Pavilions include From Farmers Market To Meal, where Mike Broadhurst stands at a table heaped with fragrant ruby red grapefruit he grew near Cambria.
At the far end of the long Marketplace pavilion, where hundreds bustle between wine and food tasting booths, a Cal Poly lamb is roasting on a spit.
Chef David McWilliam, of the Gardens of Avila restaurant at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, is serving the lamb in lettuce cups with a jicama slaw and Asian vinaigrette.
Mary Ketling of Los Osos described them as “to die for.”
In a nearby clearing overlooking the hills, cooper Lucio Hernandez of World Cooperage hammers down the metal rings on a half-constructed wine barrel set over a small fire.
Meanwhile, colleague Gary Kroll explained to the gathered crowd how heat is used to coax straight oak planks into a barrel’s gentle curve.
Don Duff of Paso Robles stopped to admire the progress. He’s here for “Sunset Magazine, the adventure, this many wineries in one location. ... It’s exciting.”
— Julia Hickey