Los Osos-Baywood Park hope food brings people together

Judy Salamacha
Judy Salamacha

’Tis the season to celebrate and share our blessings with family, friends, and community.

The Los Osos Baywood Park Chamber of Commerce, with the support of most of the restaurants in the Los Osos and Baywood area, have produced a new fundraiser — the 2013 Food Showcase & Community Event — set for Thursday at the South Bay Community Center.

“Our board realized our most successful events offered food to bring community together,’’ said chamber President Jim Stanfill, adding that former South Bay Library manager Joe Laurenzi suggested combining the elements of Taste of South Bay with the energy of the annual Business Expo. Stanfill was also grateful that Laurenzi continued to take the lead on the event since he had moved on to his new position with the San Luis Obispo County Library system as regional librarian for North County.

“The businesses participating in the new event have long supported the community, whenever asked,” Laurenzi said. “I am hoping that the community sees this and supports their businesses. There are some real gems in Los Osos — some of the best rigatoni, curry, muffins, pizza, burritos, omelets and fazool on the Central Coast.”

More than 20 restaurants , caterers, bakeries, and grocers are providing samples from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are limited at $15. Call 528-4884 or visit http://www.lobpchamber.org for a list of participants.

The chamber has also launched a community cookbook.

“We’re always looking for ways to fund operations,” Stanfill said. “We tried an all-volunteer chamber, but things were getting dropped, so we have hired Rose Chowins part-time.”

Mimi Kalland and Dawn Rodden co-chaired the development of the cookbook after Robbie Sword suggested it. Barbara Schippers offered to illustrate it and with more than 20 years in the food industry, she had many recipes to submit.

Random tidbits about the contributors are included. For example, Chris Van Beveren served chile verde to a bishop. Dee Dee Perry created faux mint juleps and cucumber sandwiches to teach children about the Kentucky Derby. Lou Tornatsky offered bubenspitzels and the Stanfills shared their cinnamon sugared walnuts. Nick Juren’s Maryland crab cakes date back 200 years and Stanley Stern has a soup fit for the Baywood Navy.

A $10 donation helps support chamber operations. Board members will sell cookbooks and offer samples made from the recipes at the Food Showcase on Thursday. Cookbooks can be purchased at the chamber office at 781 Los Osos Valley Road.

Judy Salamacha's column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.