Behind every so-called “tourist” town, there lies a real, thriving life force. This is something Avila Beach residents know well. Beneath the façade of this perfect little beach getaway, you’ll find a quirky place where artists, surfers, winemakers (and yes, retirees) mingle.Read More
For anyone who’s tried to cook the perfect romantic Valentine’s Day dinner—and dealt with the stress and anxiety that inevitably follows—Danior Kitchen Catering owner/chef Spencer Johnston has a word of advice.
Just stop it.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
We can rebuild this pizza. Crispier! Tastier! Better than before! As an incoming freshman college student, you are obviously way too young to understand this cheap reference to The Six Million Dollar Man, but that’s OK. Just pretend I wrote, “Pizza emoji, smiley face, muscle arm, lightening bolts, thumbs up.”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
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
When I suggest to Noi Klinpratoom that she's a fine example of a true Baywood celebrity, she lets out a birdlike chirp of a laugh. Although she’s a humble chef, she doesn’t deny my assertion, either. Truthfully, she’s bigger than simply a San Luis Obispo area sensation—people across the Central Coast equate the name “Noi’s” with to-die-for Thai takeout. I, myself, have to hold back the urge to ask for an autographed menu.Read More
House of Bagels Central Coast co-owner Mike Prowse dumps half a dozen white, doughy soft pretzels into a bubbling vat of sodium hydroxide solution.
Not only is this step the crucial factor behind creating an irresistible hard shell and chewy interior, it’s also the birthplace of “that fresh bagel smell,” that subtle salty, slightly tangy scent that intoxicates morning visitors of this cozy strip-mall hangout.Read More
Farmer Bill Coy reaches his suntanned arms up and into a sea of glossy orange-green leaves in search of a perfectly ripe avocado. Victorious, he palms the plump, bumpy black fruit, which gives way to the touch only ever so slightly.Read More
At roughly 200 pounds, the spotted Berkshire hog is rotund, marbled, and ready for harvest. His card, so to speak, is up. One day he’s snorting around the trough on a Fresno farm, and the next, he’s packed onto a refrigerated truck bound for San Luis Obispo.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
There’s a raging intensity of hunger that sinks in after you’ve just rocked out to one of your favorite bands. A need to feed must be quenched. Right now!
Endorphins are high, friends are plentiful, and the beer is flowing. This is the moment that SLO Brew Executive Chef Thomas Fundaro lives for.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
If you stop by Flavor Factory before 10 a.m., you can probably glance through the front window and see chef/owner Adam Pollard elbow deep in a white plastic bucket of bright red meat. When I come knocking, the sleeves of his clean chef’s coat are rolled way up, showing off a mix of tattoos and beef.Read More