Savoring the Central Coast

Savor the Central Coast (Brittany App, Savor the Central Coast)

Savor the Central Coast (Brittany App, Savor the Central Coast)

By Leslie Dinaberg

Spend a gorgeous September weekend sampling the best of the best from winemakers, celebrity chefs, brew masters, fishermen and artisanal food producers who call the Central Coast home.

Not to mention two nights in the beautiful Seacrest oceanfront hotel in Pismo Beach. It’s a tough job, but somebody had to do it, and I’m so glad I was the one who got to explore the uber-cool culinary exploration event that is Sunset Savor the Central Coast last fall. What a treat! I can’t wait to go again!

You too can participate in this delicious annual four-day event (sadly, I was only able to attend two days last year) put on by Sunset Magazine and San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau Sept. 26–29.

This year’s festivities look tastier than ever, with opportunities to savor award-winning wines and indulge in a spectacular menu from chef Maegen Loring of the acclaimed Lido Restaurant at Dolphin Bay, all in the splendor of historic Hearst Castle. Or, if you like to get your hands in the dirt, you can plant and tag your own grapevine at Stolo Family Winery & Vineyards, near the picturesque town of Cambria.

You can also get up close and personal with hot celebrity chefs such as Michael Voltaggio (Top Chef winner and chef/restaurateur of West Hollywood’s avant-garde ink. and ink.sack) and Nathan Lyon (host of Good Food America); enjoy Sunset on the Sand in Pismo Beach, where you’ll learn how to make a cocktail with herbs from your garden, followed by farm-to-table cuisine and wine vintages celebrating the Central Coast’s bounty; or gather for an evening under the star-filled Paso Robles sky at the new open-air Vina Robles Amphitheatre, where you can sample specially prepared foods and award-winning wines, while enjoying live music in the beautiful surroundings of Paso Robles wine country.

And, of course, there’s the main event, with the opportunity to wander the gorgeous grounds of Santa Margarita Ranch; watch celebrity chef demos; taste the wares of more than 100 local wineries; and sample small bites dished up from local restaurateurs, farmers, and artisan food and winemakers. Festivities also include live music, a beer garden and loads of booths and demonstrations to explore the latest trends in food and wine, gardening and travel.

For an up-to-date schedule and ticket information, go to or call 800/634-1414. Hope to see you there!

Originally published in the Fall 2013 issue of Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine.