So Janis Joplin, Dick Dale, and Keith Richards walk into a tap room. There is no punchline. This is simply the reality of Avila Beach's newest hangout, brought to you by the friendly, funky folks at Libertine Brewing Company.Read More
I’ve stepped out of reality and into a full-body beekeeper’s outfit. It might as well be a spacesuit. Instead of holding a tiny American flag in the middle of space, I’m clutching a pole hooked around a tree branch suspended 4 feet above my head.
Hovering on that branch? A massive swarm of boisterous, buzzing wild bees.Read More
Silva Brewing Company isn’t “easy” to find, and that’s not a bad thing.
In a corporate world that, more and more, aims to dumb down and homogenize our food and beverage choices, California’s craft beer scene continues to experience a defiant and jubilant renaissance. Will this craft beer explosion ever end? Not if legendary brewer Chuck Silva and his spunky wife, Mary Jo, have anything to do with it.Read More
A wiry and wild-eyed acrylic painting of Iggy Pop overlooks the fermentation room nestled in the corner of Libertine Brewing Company’s newly expanded Broad Street location. The combination tasting room-restaurant-taproom-coffee shop is cavernous—coming in at a little less than 10,000-square-feet—but this is really “where the magic happens.”Read More
Giuseppe “Joe” DiFronzo was born in the wrong era.
He loves zipping around town on his fleet of vintage scooters and is obsessed with making pasta the old fashioned way (just like grandma). Most of all, the chef and restaurateur loves working with his hands, tilling the soil, and harvesting broccoli di rapini, heirloom tomatoes, and syrah wine grapes on his San Luis Obispo farm. DiFronzo’s greatest joy lies in bringing these Old World flavors to his iconic Giuseppe’s restaurants. Here, garlic is always in the air and the Southern Italian dishes of his childhood live on forever.Read More
Every wine industry person knows the feeling. You’d rather spark up a deep conversation with a rabid telemarketer than drink another glass of room temperature cabernet sauvignon. You need something crisp, clean, bubbly, zesty, and—most importantly—not wine. Enter hard cider, the ultimate palate cleanser.Read More
Zenaida Cellars owners Eric and Jill Ogorsolka know something about the famous Templeton Gap that a lot of newer winery owners don’t.
Just ask Jill why Theatre Drive in Templeton is actually called Theatre Drive.
“We’d go down to the old drive-in all the time,” Jill reminisced during a recent tour of the couple’s now 20-year-old winery. “That’s before they even added in a traffic light.”Read More
Before Roxanne Lapuyade became known for her fresh-pressed juices, kitchen sink salads, or “Ro boats,” (romaine lettuce leaves filled with persimmon, avocado, mixed veggies, and cashew tamarind spread), she was a lot like the average American kid. Along with the rest of us, she snuck the odd candy bar before Halloween or yearned for the chemical warmth of a Happy Meal.Read More
Call me old-fashioned, but isn’t there a simple satisfaction in unplugging from your iPhone overlord and picking out the perfect apple or 12? For me, it’s right up there with picking out that first, ceremonious fall pumpkin for your front porch, a tactile reminder of the changing seasons (even if the weather is 100-plus degrees, as it was the week I went apple adventuring with my very pregnant friend).Read More
“There is a great power behind these plants, and I have a great reverence for them. They could do something to a man that it would take a bullet to do. One little bite of this innocuous herb—a single crushed caster bean, for instance, and you will get sick or die. There is no question.”Read More
As it turns out, Central Coast Brewing Company isn’t a bad place to conduct an interview—especially when you’re chatting with a handful of passionate local brewers who live and breathe craft beer. It’s a lot like photographing a band of wild hyenas in their natural environment. I’m getting good stuff.Read More
Funny how true love has a way of bringing life into full, razor-sharp focus. Will Yan had worked in Bay Area kitchens for much of his youth and early adulthood when he made that fateful dish for his date, Pinky. Up until that night, he had considered cooking a hobby—something he happily did to help his family, who for years had owned multiple Asian style eateries across the San Francisco area.Read More
...Marketing Director Beaton is wearing a furry bear suit, a la the California state flag (and that’s not just the booze talking). Beaton—who, like his partners, graduated from Cal Poly in the not too distant past—is actually wearing a full-on bear suit complete with claws and cute little ears.Read More
It wasn’t until this spring that I finally planted the tiny packet of fenugreek seeds I received on my first visit to Foremost Wine Company, almost two years ago. Since opening in November 2014, owners Rob and Nancy Murray have vowed to honor quality ingredients first and foremost, hence continuing the practice of giving out seed packets along with every meal.Read More
If anyone has the moxie to take over what was once known as a white tablecloth, fine dining establishment and spin it into a casual, down-home hangout, it's probably Esther Abobo. Her grit and determination know no bounds, and, after all, she knows a thing or two about warming hungry bellies with comfort food staples.Read More
My entire being is awash in a warm wave of beef essence.
The experience is not unlike being hit with a hot summer breeze carrying intoxicating hints of herbs, spices, and earth. At the Wellness Kitchen, it always smells like grandma’s house—if grandma was less into Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and more into clean eating and holistic medicine.
Three giant stainless steel pots brimming with grass-fed beef bones simmer on the kitchen’s cramped six-burner stovetop. Carrot, onion, leek, red and sweet potato, yam, garlic, celery, parsley, apple cider vinegar, kombu, allspice, peppercorn, and sea salt make the mix tasty, not just virtuous.Read More
The season was turning cold—freezing—when Chef Tim Veatch and his beloved companion, Jeriel Sydney, arrived at a rural farmhouse in Parma, Italy, in pursuit of pork.
They’d heard that the farmer who lived there would be breaking down two black Parma hogs for charcuterie, so they jumped at the opportunity to help slaughter, process, and cure the meat.Read More
Roastmaster Reid Patterson doesn’t always sleep in his own bed. Perched high on a secluded mountain off a steep dirt road on the south side of town, the 61-year-old house his family purchased in January off of Bridge Street feels like sacred ground; a relic of the beatnik generation.Read More